Geoffrey Kusuro became the first Ugandan to run the half marathon under 60 minutes as he finished third in the 41st Rome-Ostia Half Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label Road Race, on Sunday.
The race was won by Kenyan Robert Chemosin, who clocked a world-leading 59 minutes 3 seconds followed by Simon Cheprot (59:39) and Kusuro (59:43).
Kusuro bettered the three-year national record of one hour one minute and 31 seconds that was set at Le Grande Monte in France by Nicholas Kiprono.
It was a tight race that was held in sunny conditions with Kusuro being sandwitched in a group of eight Kenyans as they all battled for the podium.
Peter Kwemoi, William Kibor, Eric Leon Ndiema, Cornelius Kangogo, John Kiprotich, Leonard Kipkoech, Kusuro, Cheprot and Chemosin ran together as a group but only before the half way mark of the 21km race.
This battle for the winning place was amongst four runners but John Kiprotich fell off with 3km to go and Kusuro followed to leave Chemosin and Cheprot in the battle for top honours.
Chemosin then sprinted off to win with a world leading time.
“It was a tight one but I had to hang on. It was a good time for me and I am very happy for the national record. I will now go back and start training for the World Cross Country championships,” said Kusuro after the race.
Rome-Ostia Half Marathon
1 Robert Chemosin (KEN) 00:59:37
2 Simon Cheprot (KEN) 00:59:39
3 Geoffrey Kusuro (UGA) 00:59:43
4 Leonard Kipkoech (KEN)1:00:05
5 John Kiprotich (KEN) 1:00:13
By Norman Katende, The New Vision
Courtesy of in2eastafrica.net