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Course Records Fall at WMM Tokyo Marathon

Course Records Fall at 2014 Tokyo
Marathon

 

2014
World Marathon Majors competition picked up where it left off last year, with
two more course records falling at today’s 8th annual Tokyo
Marathon. Kenya’s Dickson Chumba and Ethiopia’s Tirfi Tsegaye won their first
WMM event titles in style, posting course records of 2:05:42 and 2:22:23,
respectively. Chumba’s victory placed him in a four-way tie for sixth place in
the 2013-2014 WMM series, while Tsegaye catapulted from 24th to
fourth in the 2013-2014 rankings.

 

In
Tokyo’s second year as a World Marathon Major, more than 36,000 athletes
crossed the start line on a cool, overcast day in Japan’s capital city. The
conditions proved to be perfect for marathon racing, as Chumba bettered the
men’s course record by more than a minute (previously 2:06:50 set by Kenya’s
Dennis Kimetto last year), and Tsegaye carved more than three minutes off the women’s
course record (previously 2:25:28 set by Ethiopia’s Atsede Habtamu in 2012).

 

Despite
arriving with a sub 2:06 personal best, Chumba was not favored as a likely
winner, as his previous WMM best was a seventh place showing at the Boston
Marathon last spring. He also started but did not finish the 2012 Boston and
2011 Chicago marathons. With the lead pack still 12-strong through 30K, it was
Chumba who produced the surge that dropped the race favorite Abel Kirui of
Kenya, the two-time world champion. By 35K, the pack was down to six, and 5K
later, with Chumba in charge, the only athlete hanging on was world
championship bronze medalist Tadese Tola of Ethiopia. Chumba broke the finish
tape in 2:05:42, a personal best by four seconds, and Tola followed 15 seconds
later in second. In total, three athletes were under the previous course record,
as Kenya’s Sammy Kitwara was third in 2:06:30. The top five was rounded out by
Kenyans Michael Kipyego (2:06:58), the 2012 Tokyo winner, and first-time WMM
point-scorer Peter Some (2:07:05). Kirui was 10th in 2:09:04.

 

Tsegaye
won a hard-earned victory over fellow Ethiopian Birhane Dibaba. Like Chumba in
the men’s race, Tsegaye was the aggressor, moving to the front near 30K and
dropping race favoite Lucy Kabuu of Kenya by 35K. With one kilometer to go, Tsegaye
appeared spent and Dibaba seemed on her way to victory. But the 2012 Berlin Marathon
runner-up fought back with half a kilometer to go, crossing the finish line
seven seconds ahead of Dibaba. Kabuu was third in 2:24:16, and Caroline Rotich
of Kenya was fourth in 2:24:35, putting the top four under the previous course
record. Fifth place went to WMM rookie Janet Rono of Kenya with a personal best
2:26:03.

 

The
top Japanese athletes were Kohei Matsumura, eighth in the men’s race in a
personal best 2:08:09, and Mai Ito, seventh in the women’s race in 2:28:36.

 

WMM
competition resumes in April with the Virgin Money London Marathon (April 13)
and the B.A.A. Boston Marathon (April 21).

 

2013-2014
WMM Series Leaderboard

 

Top
10 Men

1            Dennis
Kimetto (KEN)            50
pts. ‰ÛÓ Competing in Boston

2            Tsegaye
Kebede (ETH)            45
pts. ‰ÛÓ Competing in London

3            Lelisa
Desisa (ETH)                        40
pts. ‰ÛÓ Competing in Boston

4            Emmanuel
Mutai (KEN)            30
pts. ‰ÛÓ Competing in London

5            Wilson
Kipsang (KEN)            26
pts. ‰ÛÓ Competing in London

6            Dickson
Chumba (KEN)            25
pts. ‰ÛÓ Competed in Tokyo

6            Stephen
Kiprotich (UGA)            25
pts. ‰ÛÓ Competing in London

6            Geoffrey
Mutai (KEN)            25
pts. ‰ÛÓ Competing in London

6            Tadese
Tola (ETH)                        25
pts. ‰ÛÓ Competed in Tokyo

10            Michael
Kipyego (KEN)            20
pts. ‰ÛÓ Competed in Tokyo

10            Sammy
Kitwara (KEN)            20
pts. ‰ÛÓ Competed in Tokyo

10            Micah
Kogo (KEN)                        20
pts. ‰ÛÓ Competing in Boston

 

Top
10 Women

1            Priscah
Jeptoo (KEN)            50
pts. ‰ÛÓ Competing in London

1            Rita
Jeptoo (KEN)                        50
pts. ‰ÛÓ Competing in Boston

3            Edna
Kiplagat (KEN)            40
pts. ‰ÛÓ Competing in London

4            Tirfi
Tsegaye (ETH)                        26
pts. ‰ÛÓ Competed in Tokyo

5            Sharon
Cherop (KEN)            25
pts. ‰ÛÓ Competing in Boston

5            Aberu
Kebede (ETH)            25
pts. ‰ÛÓ Competing in London

5            Florence
Kiplagat (KEN)            25
pts. ‰ÛÓ Competing in London

8            Irina
Mikitenko (GER)            20
pts.

9            Valeria
Straneo (ITA)            16
pts.

10            Buzunesh
Deba (ETH)            15
pts. ‰ÛÓ Competing in Boston

10            Jemima
Sumgong (KEN)            15
pts. ‰ÛÓ Competing in Boston

10            Meseret
Hailu (ETH)            15
pts. ‰ÛÓ Competing in Boston

10
            Birhane
Dibaba (ETH)            15
pts. ‰ÛÓ Competed in Tokyo

10            Yeshi
Esayias (ETH)            15
pts. ‰ÛÓ Competing in Boston

 

For
more, go to worldmarathonmajors.com.

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