Chemutai leads Uganda’s command at MTN Marathon

Monday November 26 2018

Eyes on the money: Lydia Wafula players was

Eyes on the money: Lydia Wafula players was among the three Kenyans to get a podium finish. She ran 2hrs 44 mins 59secs to win the 24km women race on Sunday at Kololo Independence grounds to bag a Shs20m cash prize. PHOTO BY ISMAIL KEZAALA 


Kampala. The annual cat and mouse fight over honours at the 15th MTN Kampala Marathon ended with hosts Uganda flooring Kenya at Kololo Independence ground yesterday.
The Ugandan elite field did nearly all to starve off their eastern neighbours of delight on a fine Sunday morning but Kenya came through with a 1-2 in the women’ 42km race.
Lydia Wafula posted a time of two hours, 44 minutes and 59 seconds to win the biggest event of the day and pocket Shs20m courtesy of event sponsors MTN, Huawei and Stanbic Bank.
Wafula was escorted to the podium by counterpart Rael Kimaiyo Japyator who posted 2:48:59 worth Shs10m.
Beyond that, Kenya was nowhere else. Instead, it is Uganda’s anthem that consistently played during the emotional prize giving ceremony.
In between the award ceremony, comedian emcee Patrick Salvado Idringi, artistes Beenie Gunter and Sheebah paid a minute of silence to the souls that perished on a boat that capsized along Lake Victoria on Saturday evening. Sheebah performed in all black attire as a sign of mourning but, perhaps, Joshua Chemutai wasn’t aware of the tragedy.
Chemutai kept smiling having won the men’s 42km race in a performance that highlighted the nation’s command at the event whose proceeds will go towards supporting maternal health care. On this third attempt in five editions, Chemutai clocked 2:18:27 to pocket Shs20m. “I am very happy but it was not easy,” said the man who came third in 2014 and second in 2016.
Soyekwo Kibet (2:18:43) and Phillip Kiplimo (2:19:56) completed the podium in that order but Robert Chemonges and Peruth Chemutai were as well dominant as they defended the men’s 21km and women’s 10km races respectively.
“I am very happy,” Chemonges said after posting 1:03:31, “They changed the route a bit but I didn’t spend much energy here. It was more like a practice session,” added the man who won the Porto Marathon in Portugal a fortnight ago. Chemutai, who won a World junior silver and also set a new national 3000m steeplechase record this year, won in 35 minutes.