Report17 Dec 2023

Chepkurui and Kimeli win in Chonburi


Mathew Kimeli (© Getty Images)

Gladys Chepkurui and Mathew Kimeli achieved a Kenyan double at the Bangsaen21 Half Marathon – a World Athletics Platinum Label road race – in the Thai city of Chonburi on Sunday (17).

Racing in warm and humid conditions, Chepkurui clocked 1:09:46 to claim the women’s crown, finishing 17 seconds ahead of her compatriot Sheila Chepkirui, while Kimeli held off Ethiopia’s Tsegaye Getachew to win the men’s race, 1:03:39 to 1:03:45.

This year’s Berlin Marathon runner-up Chepkirui broke away with 2019 world marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich in the early stages of the women’s race and they passed 5km in 15:39, 14 seconds ahead of Chepkurui and Angela Tanui. 

Chepkirui then managed to create a gap and was running solo, nine seconds ahead of Chepngetich, by 10km. Chepkurui and Tanui remained together a further 16 seconds back, as they passed that checkpoint in 32:36.

But Chepkurui wasn’t deterred and she gradually reeled in her rivals, moving away from Tanui to first chase down Chepngetich, and then Chepkirui. Chepkirui led at 15km, reached in 49:13, but Chepkurui chipped into the eight-second advantage and passed her compatriot a few minutes later.

Chepkirui was unable to respond and Chepkurui continued to move away, eventually finishing 17 seconds clear in 1:09:46.

Behind Chepkirui was 2021 Amsterdam Marathon champion Tanui, who finished third in 1:11:08, while former world record-holder Chepngetich finished fourth in 1:11:51.

In the men’s race, Kimeli formed part of an eight-strong pack that reached 5km in 15:27 and 10km in 31:01.

Only Kimeli and his Kenyan compatriot Amos Kipruto, last year’s London Marathon champion, managed to stay with Getachew when the Ethiopian put in a surge after leading through 15km in 45:57. Getachew and Kipruto then dropped Kimeli but gradually he covered the move and soon he was the one heading the three-strong lead pack.

Getachew, who won last year’s Amsterdam Marathon, glanced over his shoulder with around 1km remaining but Kimeli strode past on his other side. The Kenyan couldn’t be caught and he won in 1:03:39, six seconds ahead of Getachew.

Kipruto, the world marathon bronze medallist in 2019, was third in 1:03:52 and Kenya’s Nobert Kipkoech Kigen was fourth in 1:04:35.

Leading results

1 Gladys Chepkurui (KEN) 1:09:46
2 Sheila Chepkirui (KEN) 1:10:03
3 Angela Tanui (KEN) 1:11:08
4 Ruth Chepngetich (KEN) 1:11:51
5 Degitu Azimeraw (ETH) 1:12:36

1 Mathew Kimeli (KEN) 1:03:39
2 Tsegaye Getachew (ETH) 1:03:45
3 Amos Kipruto (KEN) 1:03:52
4 Nobert Kipkoech Kigen (KEN) 1:04:35
5 Enock Onchari (KEN) 1:05:58

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