Kiplangat tops Istanbul

Winner. Kiplangat. PHOTO/COURTESY

What you need to know:

Victor Kiplangat is rising fast. The long-distance runner provided a thorough testimonial of his progress by winning his debut 42km race at the Istanbul Marathon in Turkey yesterday.

The youngster, who is part of the elite NN Running Team, responded to every question from the field before winning in two hours, 10 minutes and 18 seconds.

“It’s a good marathon start for Kiplangat,” his manager Jurrie van der Velden said after his runner won $35000 (Shs124m) in prize money.

“Victor did it perfect, stayed calm in the group, managing his energy and using the drink stations well,” coach Addy Ruiter said. His more experienced counterpart Solomon Mutai settled for third place in 2:10:25.

Kiplangat, who turns 22 on Wednesday, joins the unique list of Ugandans who have triumphed on their marathon debuts; Stephen Kiprotich in Enschede, the Netherlands, in 2011 and Jackson Kiprop was entered as a pace setter but instead went on to post a course record victory in Mumbai, India, in 2013.

In 2016, Robert Chemonges won the Trieste Marathon in Italy and nearly two months ago on September 12, Martin Musau also won his debut at the Hamburg Marathon in Germany.

Smart race plan
Kiplangat did it smartly. He quietly kept with the leading group of about 20 and barely showed intent for the first 30km, which was at sub-2:10 pace for long spells. When the pace makers had departed, 2015 world bronze medallist Mutai was the first to throw a jab at the field at the 31km mark.

“The course was not easy. A lot of up and downs and the pacers were far too slow,” Ruiter noted.
The race commentator Tim Hutchings remained focused on half-way stage leader Kenyan Brian Kipsang only for a solid Kiplangat in white and green bib to surprisingly up the ante at 33km.

His charge threw off nearly 10 men to trim the leading group to about 12, Mutai oscillating between third and fourth. Kiplangat then relaxed. Not for long.

With 4km left, Kiplangat, who paced the field at the London Marathon on October 3 and the NN Enschede Marathon on April 11, took over and did not look back.

Whenever, Kenyans Robert Kipkemoi (2:10:23), Moses Kemei (2:10:28) and Benard Sang (2:10:59) posed threats to his lead, Kiplangat would only return to lead again until when all bowed during the steep end of the course toward the historical imperial Blue Mosque.

“The win was the goal and the time was not important in his debut. I knew that he was in a great shape and he delivered perfectly,” said Ruiter. 

All the top five men ran sub-2:11, the first time it had happened in Istanbul.

Meanwhile, some 1,400 miles away from Istanbul, national record holder Filex Chemonges came ninth at the Barcelona Marathon in Spain.

He may have been far from the podium but his 2:07:19 ranks as the fifth fastest by a Ugandan over the 42km distance.

Istanbul Marathon 2021- Men's results 
1.Victor Kiplangat    UGA    2:10:18
2.Robert Kipkemoi    KEN    2:10:23
3.Solomon Mutai    UGA    2:10:25

Barcelona Marathon 2021- Men's results 

1.Samuel Kosgei     KEN    2:06:03
2.Othmane El Goumri     MAR    2:06:30
3.Mohamed Ziani     MAR    2:06:33
9.Filex Chemonges     UGA    2:07:19


You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.