Sunday, 17 April 2016

ATHLETICS: Moses Kipsiro shines in marathon debut but on waiting list for Rio Olympics

Kipsiro had an impressive marathon debut in 
Hamburg today . FILE PHOTO

Long distance ace Moses Kipsiro clocked an outstanding time of 2:15:48 as he finished 14th in his first marathon in Hamburg today, but it may not be enough to earn him a place on Uganda’s Olympic team to Rio.

Other than Olympic Champion Stephen Kiprotich, four other Ugandans have beaten the qualifying mark of 2:19:00, and have actually run faster than Kipsiro. Uganda will enter a strong team of four runners in the Rio Olympics Marathon.

The other marathoners in contention are Jackson Kiprop, Solomon Mutai, bronze medalist at last year’s World Championships in Beijing, Alex Chesakit, and 2014 Commonwealth games bronze medalist Abraham Kiplimo 2:12.23.

Hamburg 2016

The start of the Hamburg Marathon today where 
Uganda's Kipsiro finished 14th

Today’s Hamburg marathon was won by Ethiopia’s Tesfaye Abera in 2 hours 06:58 minutes followed by Kenya's Philemon Rono in 2:07:20.  

Ethiopia’s Meselech Melkamu dominated the women's race and broke the course record by more than two minutes. Melkamu beat fellow Ethiopian Meseret Hailu by nearly five minutes, finishing in 2:21:55.

Tight race for Uganda Marathon places

Kiprotich and Mutai favourities  

“We will pick the best depending on performance,” Uganda athletics chief Dominic Etuchet, told me early this year. That may already be decided now, with qualifying closing July 11, 2016 and the Boston Marathon April 18 being one of the last races giving an opportunity to qualify.

Since qualifying started in January 2015, Kiprotich has run 2:07:46 and 2:06:33 in the Tokyo marathon, Chesakit has run 2:13:06, Kiprotich 2:06:33, Mutai 2:10:42, Kiprop 2:15:16 and Kiplimo has a best time of 2:09:23 in 2014.

Boston Marathon (Watch live here)

The world’s oldest – and possibly most famous – marathon will not feature some of the sport’s top runners for the simple reason: It’s an Olympic year.

Uganda's Jackson Kiprop, is however listed among the elite runners. Kiprop will seek to cement a place on the Uganda team to the Rio Olympics.

Kiprop has a previous best of 2:09:32 (Mumbai, 2013)

The 120th Boston Marathon will be held on April 18.

Men's elite field Country                      Personal best
Geoffrey Mutai Kenya 2:03:02 (Boston, 2011)
Sammy Kitwara Kenya 2:04:28 (Chicago, 2014)
Tsegaye MekonnenEthiopia 2:04:32 (Dubai, 2014)
Lelisa Desisa Ethiopia 2:04:45 (Dubai, 2013)
Yemane Tsegay Ethiopia 2:04:48 (Rotterdam, 2012)
Getu Feleke Ethiopia 2:04:50 (Rotterdam, 2012)
Wilson Chebet Kenya 2:05:27 (Rotterdam, 2011)
Hayle Berhanu Ethiopia 2:05:28 (Dubai, 2015)
Chebogut Kenya 2:05:52 (Eindhoven, 2015)
Deribe Robi Ethiopia 2:05:58 (Eindhoven, 2015)
Wesley Korir Kenya 2:06:13 (Chicago, 2012)
Michael Kipyego Kenya 2:06:48 (Eindhoven, 2011)
Paul Lonyangata Kenya 2:07:14 (Shanghai, 2015)
Jackson Kiprop Uganda 2:09:32 (Mumbai, 2013)
Nyasango Zimbabwe 2:09:52 (Prague, 2014)
Abdi Nageeye Netherlands 2:10:24 (Amsterdam, 2015)
El Hissouf Morocco 2:10:35 (Seoul, 2015)
Da Silva Brazil 2:11:32 (Padova, 2011)
Chipangama Zambia 2:11:35 (Duluth, 2015)
Ian Burrell USA 2:13:26 (Houston, 2014)

Girma Mecheso USA Debut; HM 1:02:16 (Houston, 2015)

Other track events

The other Ugandans who have so far hit the qualifying mark for the Olympics are Adero Nyakesi in the women’s marathon, Joshua Cheptegei and Tim Toroitich in the 10,000m, Phillip Kipyeko in the 5,000m and Ronald Musagala in the 1500.

Uganda's track and field team at the last Olympics in London was the biggest (11 out of 15), and Etuchet said it is likely to be bigger this time due to the stiff competition in long distance races.

Kiprotich's gold in London 2012, was the first Olympic medal since Davis Kamoga’s bronze in 1992 and one of only two gold Uganda has won at the games. The first gold was by Akii Bua in 1972, one of only 7 medals Uganda has won at Olympics track and field.

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