Kenyan athletes bag gold in both men and women categories as they sparkle in Milan

Kenyan athletes came out victorious at the 44th edition of the Stramilano Half Marathon in Milan held on Sunday, March 24 – bagging gold in both men and women categories. 

Vincent Rerimoi toppled his opponents to emerge the winner in the men’s race after clocking 1:00:10, outdoing his Kenyan counterpart and steeplechase specialist Jairus Birech who finished second in 1:00:32. 

Rerimoi smashed his previous record of 1:01:19 which he set in Japan last year to set his personal best. “It’s the best race of my career,” said Rerimoi.

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 “I realised at 16 kilometres that I could win. It was a good course but it was hot. I have a 5000m personal best of 13:35, but I prefer running road races. I hope this win will start a new stage in my career,” he added. 

Kenyans snatched the top four positions in the men’s race with Paul Tiongik and Joel Maina Mwangi making to the finishing line in third and fourth positions respectively. 

Kenya’s Priscah Jeptoo makes it to the finishing tape in the Stramilano Half Marathon in Milan on Sunday, March 24, 2019 [Photo: Courtesy]

2012 Olympic silver medalist Priscah Jeptoo was in fine form as she outshined her opponents to bag gold in the women category, clocking 1:08:26.

 Jeptoo returned from a two-year maternity break having been out of the track since October 2016 after she finished fourth at the Amsterdam Marathon in 2:25:57.

 “I have dedicated the past two years to my family and I did not compete due to maternity leave,” Jeptoo said. “I am happy with my come-back. Last week I fell during training and I was not in my top shape.

Jeptoo came out guns blazing against Ethiopia’s Meseret Meleka who had taken an early lead but later skidded into the second position after making it to the finishing tape in 1:10:39, two minutes and 13 seconds behind Jeptoo.

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I will run a half marathon in Gothenburg in May and possibly a marathon in the autumn,” Jeptoo added. 

 Kenyans Lucy Murigi Wambui, 2014 Stramilano Half Marathon winner, and Zipporah Kingori Wanjiru finished in third and fourth place respectively after clocking 1:11:47 and 1:12:21 to wrap up an impeccable show for mother Kenya in Milan.

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