African runners win ING Marathon titles
Monday, December 17, 2007 The China Post news staff
TAIPEI, Taiwan — Runners from Kenya and Zimbabwe won the men's and the women's contests in the 2007 ING Taipei International Marathon held yesterday morning. Kenya's Hillary Bett, 27, completed the course in two hours 17 minutes and 0.9 seconds to take the top prize in the marathon that drew a record 110,000 runners, including 22,000 who took part in the full marathon of 42.195 kilometers.
He edged Tanzania's Disdery Hombo and fellow countryman, Elijah Chemwolo, who came second and third with times of 2:17:35 and 2:18:03, respectively.
Bett, a farmer and an amateur runner, only started attending professional races in April this year.
The ING Taipei Marathon was his third international race but the first title.
Bett said he was deeply impressed by the beautiful Taipei streets and the warm hospitality of the people here.,
Tabitha Tsatsa from Zimbabwe captured the women's title with 2:33:01, followed by Kenya's Anne Chelagat at 2:38:19 and her countrywoman, Merima Benboba, at 2:49:14.
This was the second time Tsatsa took part in a race in Taiwan.
Bett and Tsatsa won the prize money of NT$666,666 (US$20,000) each.
Taiwan's Olympic runner Wu Wen-chien took the championship in the domestic men's contest with 2:32:13, while Hsu Yu-fang took the women's title with 2:50:45.
Both were awarded with cash prizes of NT$100,000, according to the Chinese Taipei Road Running Association, which organized the event.
In the largest marathon event ever in Taiwan, participants also took part in 21 km half-marathon, 9 km road run, 3 km fun run and 1 km run for children.
Cash prizes worth NT$4.5 million were up for grabs by the 22,000 runners who signed up for the 42.195 km full marathon.
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