Chumba, Dibaba reign supreme at Tokyo Marathon
Dickson Chumba and Birhane Dibaba are the 2018 Tokyo Marathon Champions.
Chumba, who previously won at the Japanese capital in 2014, reigned supreme in the men’s competition as he won in 2hours, 5 minutes and 30seconds.
Ethiopian Dibaba came agonisingly close to breaking the course record en route to reclaiming her 2015 title, with her winning time of 2:19.51 just five seconds shy of the CR set by Sarah Jepchirchir last year.
The men’s race came to life at the 37km mark when Chumba, the 2015 Chicago Marathon champion, pulled away from the leading pack as he made clear his intentions to go for the top podium place.
He would lead home favourite Shitara Yuu into setting a national record of 2:06:11 for second place as Seoul Marathon winner Amos Kipruto settled for third place in 2:06.33.
The race had started on a world record pace as requested by 2012 London Olympics bronze medalist and defending champion Wilson Kipsang who dropped out of the race after 15km.
It left his Kenyan compatriots Kipruto, Chumba, 2016 Chicago Marathon third finisher Gideon Kipketer, Vicent Kipruto and Ethiopian Rio Olympics silver medalist Feyisa Lelisa to command the leading group as they passed the 15km mark in 44:34, a 2:05:22 pace.
The lead men of about 12 passed 25km in 1:14:23 – a pace of 2:05:33 – as Vincent Kipruto dropped to the back.
At 30km mark the pace makers dropped with a group of about nine men hitting 30km in 1:29:20 a 2:05.39 pace.
At 35km, only three athletes were left in contention; Chumba, Kipruto and Kipketer covering the distance in split of 1:44:07.
Chumba, the 2015 pulled away two kilometres later forcing Lelisa to crack and fall to the back as Yuu gained ground on the leading pack.
Yuu, who had some gas left in him passed Kipketer and Kipruto for second place; pocketing KSh101,832,993 (USD 1,000,000) for setting a new Japanese national record.
In the women’s race, Dibaba led compatriot Ruto Aga to an Ethiopian 1,2 finish as American Ammy Cragg finished third.
Aga clocked 2:21.19 for the first runners-up as Cragged stopped the timer at 2:21.42 for third place.
Meanwhile, 2016 Tokyo Marathon champion Helah Kiprop finished two places out of the medal bracket in 2:28.58.
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