By AYUMBA AYODI
The 2014 Tokyo Marathon champion, Dickson Chumba and World Half Marathon record holder, Florence Kiplagat Sunday swept to a Kenyan double win at the 2015 Chicago Marathon.
Chumba claimed his second World Marathon Major victory when he scooped the men’s race in 2 hours, 09 minutes and 25 seconds while Kiplagat, the winner of the 2011 and 2013 Berlin Marathon, tore the women’s field to shreds in 2:23:33.
Chumba and Kiplagat pocketed $100,000 (about Sh10.2m) each for their victories.
The race did not feature pace setters for the first time in 26 years and it noticeably affected times and strategy on the flat course.
In a slow and tactical men’s race Chumba, 28, made a decisive move at the 37km mark, leaving race favourite Sammy Kitwara settling to second place in 2:09.50 as Sammy Ndungu completed Kenya’s podium sweep in 2:10.06.
Kitwara and Chumba separated themselves from the pack at the 33km mark before Chumba made his move to victory. Chumba is the 15th Kenyan man to win in Chicago.
Chumba was third in Chicago last year in a personal best time of 2:04:32, more than a minute faster than his previous best.
Chumba set a course record at the Tokyo Marathon in 2014 in 2:05:42, improving the course record by more than a minute.
The 28-year-old Kiplagat, who won the half marathon in a world record with new times of 1:05:09 in February this year, broke away at 40km to win. Ethiopian Yebrgual Melese was second in 2:23.43.
Kiplagat becomes the first Kenyan to win in Chicago since Catherine Ndereba in 2001.
his is after Rita Jeptoo’s victory in 2013 was cancelled after she failed a dope test in 2014.
Courtesy of nation.co.ke