Mutai breaks Venice Marathon course record

Mutai (front in yellow bib) now has a record to his name. PHOTO/COURTSEY 

What you need to know:

This marks Mutai’s first win since winning his debut 42km race at the 2013 Mombasa Marathon in Kenya and it came with not only a personal best (PB) but also a new course record.


Solomon Mutai is a happy man after beating his fellow African elite competitors to win the Venice Marathon in Italy on Sunday.

The experienced Ugandan gifted himself a day after his 30th birthday by posting a winning time of two hours, eight minutes and 10 seconds at the World Athletics Bronze Label Road Race.

“It was good and challenging,” Mutai said hours after his race. He became the ninth different nationality to conquer the course in Venice after breaking away from Kenyan Emmanuel Naibei and Ethiopian Abebe Tefese.

And the victory produced emotions out of the 2018 Commonwealth silver medallist. Upon crossing the tape, Mutai spread his arms wide and knelt down after being humbled by the feat.

“I am happy because it was not an easy race because there were too many bridges,” he said of the course difficulty.

This marks Mutai’s first win since winning his debut 42km race at the 2013 Mombasa Marathon in Kenya and it came with not only a personal best (PB) but also a new course record.

Also, this is Mutai’s best performance post Covid-19 pandemic since he took third place at the Vienna Marathon in Austria with the old PB of 2:08:25. 

Previously, he did not complete the Xiamen Marathon in Tuscany, Italy in early 2021 thereby missing out on selection to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. 

When he finished third at the Istanbul Marathon in Turkey last November, it came after a time of 2:10:25 after countering hilly terrain towards the finish.

And early in April, Mutai could only post 2:11:01 in sixth place at the Enschede Marathon in the Netherlands.

On Sunday, Mutai was redefined and even better focused, thereby lowering his PB and also beat the previous course record mark of 2:08:13 set by Kenyan John Komen.

Mutai, a bronze medallist at the 2015 Beijing World Championships in China, was quiet in the mix, the lead group crossing through the 21km mark at 1:03:56.

After 30km, it was down to Mutai and Naibei but when they reached the Liberty Bridge some 4km ahead, Mutai made his move.

He pulled away in style, going around the River Sette Martiri to glory with Naibei clocking 2:09:41 while Tefese coming third in 2:09:54.

Mutai now moves third on the list of male marathoners in search of the three available tickets to the Budapest World Athletics Championships set for next August in Hungary.

WORLD ATHLETICS BRONZE LABEL RACE

VENICE MARATHON - MEN’S RESULT

1 Solomon Mutai (UGA)        2:08:10

2 Emmanuel Naibei (KEN)     2:09:41

3 Abebe Tefese (ETH)            2:09:54


2023 BUDAPEST WORLD ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIPS

MEN’S MARATHON - TEAM UGANDA QUALIFICATION

1 Stephen Kissa; Hamburg Marathon (2nd, 2:04:48 on Apr 24, 2022)

2 Victor Kiplangat; Hamburg Marathon (4th, 2:05:09 on Apr 24, 2022)

3 Solomon Mutai; Venice Marathon (1st, 2:08:10 on Oct 23, 2022)

4 Martin Musau; Amsterdam Marathon (12th, 2:09:04 on Oct 16, 2022)

5 Geofrey Kusuro; Madrid Marathon (2nd, 2:09:23 on Apr 24, 2022)

Entry Standard: 2:09:40, Qualifying window: Dec 1, 2021 - May 30, 2023
 


MUTAI AT A GLANCE

Full name: Solomon Munyo Mutai

Date of Birth: Oct 22, 1992

Home town: Bukwo

Main Event: Marathon

Personal Best: 2:08:10

Manager: Giani Damadona (Italian)

Coaches: Alex Malinga, Gabriele Rosa

Kit Sponsor: Adidas


MUTAI’S MARATHON CAREER PROGRESSION

2013 Mombasa Marathon - 1st (2:14:21)

2014 Commonwealth Games - 4th (2:12:26)

2014 Hainan Danzhou Marathon - 3rd (2:12:59)

2015 Hannover Marathon - 5th (2:10:42)

2015 Beijing Worlds Champs - 3rd (2:13:30)

2016 Lake Biwa Marathon - 11th (2:14:57)

2016 Rio Olympics - 8th (2:11:49)

2017 Lake Biwa Marathon - 3rd (2:09:59)

2017 London World Champs - 11th (2:13:29)

2018 Commonwealth Games - 2nd (2:19:02)

2018 Shanghai Marathon - 6th (2:09:27)

2019 Vienna Marathon - 3rd (2:08:25)

2019 Doha World Champs - DNF

2019 Singapore Marathon - 2nd (2:19:48)

2021 Xiamen Marathon - DNF

2021 Istanbul Marathon - 3rd (2:10:25)

2022 Enschede Marathon - 6th (2:11:01)

2022 Venice Marathon - 1st (2:08:10)

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