News17 Oct 2011

Kiplagat defends in cold and rainy Istanbul


Vincent Kiplagat winning in Istanbul (© H. Emre Durmus)

17 October 2011Kenyan Vincent Kiplagat successfully defended his title at the 33rd  Intercontinental Istanbul Eurasia Marathon on Sunday (16) clocking 2:10:58, while Alemitu Abera from Ethiopia claimed the women’s race in 2:27:56.

The Intercontinental Istanbul Eurasia Marathon is an IAAF Silver Label Road Race.

Cold, rainy and windy conditions – the temperature was 9 C. from start to finish – ruined any chances for an assault on the course records. Kiplagat, 27, finished 18 seconds slower than his 2:10:39 record run last year and Abera, 25, crossed the line 31 seconds shy of the 2:27:25 course record, also set last year by her compatriot Ashu Kasim.

Given the conditions, both the men's and women's races turned out to be tactical affairs.

Men’s Race -

From the gun Kiplagat led the pack of contenders from Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco and Turkey. In the traditional Kenya versus Ethiopia contest on the Istanbul course, Ethiopia’s field prevailed over Kenya’s and arranged competition for Kiplagat throughout the race.

At the fifth kilometre (15:28), Kiplagat and Ethiopian Tarku Jufar (2:10:08 season’s best) were the early leaders. Two more Ethiopians - Kasime Adilo Roba, the Istanbul Marathon winner in 2008 and 2009, and 27-year old Tsegay Gebreselassie - followed five metres behind. Moroccan Abderrahim El Asri, 29, ran another five metres behind, closely followed by Kenyan Lewis Abraham Ondati. Four Turks - Bekir Karayel, 21-year old debutant Medeni Demir, Erkan Kus, and Sabri Kara – were another 300 metres adrift.

By the 10km mark the pack thinned. Kiplagat (29:52) lead with Jafar and Roba five metres back. El Asri was 15 metres behind, followed by Gebreselassie and Ondati. At 15km Jufar was even with Kiplagat but their lead was already stretched to 20 metres over the others. By 20Km (59:56) they were virtually alone at the front, some 70 metres up on El Asri and more than 100 ahead of Roba and Gebreselassie.

The order changed little through to the final kilometres. Kiplagat pulled away from Jufar in the final kilometre to win by nearly 200 metres in 2:10:58. Jufar was second in 2:11:31 with Gebreselassie a distant third in 2:13:39.

Women’s race –

Twenty-four year-old Turk Sultan Haydar, an Ethiopian-born race walker and distance runner with a 1:10:02 Half Marathon PB to her credit from Ras Al Khaimah earlier this year, took charge of the women’s race from the start and maintained her lead almost through the entire first 30 kilometres, running five metres ahead of the pack.

In the opening 5Km, here main pursuers were the Ethiopian quartet of Alemitu Abera, last year’s runner-up in Istanbul, 20-year old Fatuma Sado Dergo, Tsega Gelaw and defending champion and course record holder Ashu Kasim, all with solid sub 2:30 credentials. Some 35 to 50 metres behind a Russian trio followed: Albina Ivanova-Mayorova, Lidya Grigoryeva and Natalya Puchkova. The Turkish duo of Bahar Dogan and Ummu Kiraz lagged another 40 metres behind.  

Haydar passed 10Km point in 34:59 and 15Km in 52:12, with the Ethiopian quartet still following. The order remained the same at 20Km with only Abera dropping about five metres back. Haydar and Gelaw passed 25km in 1:26:54 with the other three Ethiopians five metres off the pace.  

Haydar’s front-running caught up with her by the 35th kilometre where she was already some 100 metres back. Abera, Dergo and Kasim came through in 2:02:09 with Gelaw 15 metres behind. Abera went on to take a six-second victory over Dergo (2:28:01). Gelaw made up ground and eventually passed Kasim to finish third (2:28:38).

Yelena Kurdyumova and Sergey Porada for the IAAF

Leading RESULTS:


1. VINCENT KIPLAGAT, KEN     2:10:58

2. TARIKU JUFAR, ETH         2:11:31


4. KASIME ADILO ROBA, ETH     2:14:20


6. BEKIR KAREYEL, TUR         2:15:48


1. ALEMITU ABERA, ETH           2:27:56

2. FATUMA SADO DERGO, ETH       2:28:01

3. TSEGA GELAW, ETH             2:28:38

4. ASHU KASIM, ETH               2:30:37


6. NATALYA PUCHKOVA, RUS         2:33:02

7. SULTAN HAYDAR, TUR           2:35:06

8. BAHAR DOGAN, TUR             2:35:47

9. UMMU KIRAZ, TUR               2:36:17

15 KM:



2. ABAYNEH AYELE, ETH         44:13

3. KIPROTICH YEGON, ETH       44:25

4. MOSES TOO, KEN             44:25



2. BINNAZ USLU, TUR  53:29

3. OZLEM KAYA, TUR   55:31