News Archive

News Archive

Too old'Kenyan races to record victory

<p">Japhet Kosgei put three years of

indifferent performances behind him, and did exactly as he promised the day

before, winning the 19th Belgrade Banca Intesa Marathon on Saturday, in 2:10:54, a new course record. The 38 year old Kenyan from Eldoret predicted

both victory and the record, and he took over a minute off the previous best

mark, 2:12:10. His compatriot, Festus Kioko Kikumu was also under the old record,

with 2:11:30 in second place, and Ruben Mutumwo made it a Kenyan clean sweep,

finishing third in 2:13:31.

<p">Kosgei had played the previous day’s press

conference like a stand-up comedian, telling the audience that his loss of form

after three sub-2:08 performances and victories in Rotterdam ’99, Toko ’00 and

Lake Biwa ’03 was due to getting married, then adding after laughter, “and

starting a business”.




He elaborated after his victory. “People

said I was too old, including my previous manager. But I was concentrating too

much on my printing business, now I’m concentrating on running again, business

can wait ‘til I retire. My body feels the same as six, seven years ago, when I

was running 2:07. Now I want to keep on running, and break the world record for a 40

year old”.


<p">That is 2:08:46, by Andres Espinosa of Mexico,

set in Berlin ’03. And the way Koegei frisked away from his compatriots in Belgrade suggest

that he may well achieve it. In clement cloudy weather, and temperatures rising

from 10-15C throughout the race, Kosgei stayed with a group of eight until 35k,

before easing away to victory.




“We always say that the start of the race

is 35k. I wanted to know who would follow me, and no one followed, everything

worked perfectly”. In fact, Kikumu tried to follow, but as he said afterwards,

“I was not surprised that it was Kosgei who went away. After I talked to him

yesterday, I knew he would win, and I knew I would be second”. Mutumwo said, “I

wanted to follow, but if you go at someone else’s pace, you might not finish,

so I ran at my own pace. I’m still learning, maybe next time, the result will

be different”.




It was the experience of almost 20

marathons which won the women’s race for Halina Karnatsevitch. At halfway, the

Belorussian was 1min 20sec down on relative newcomer, Chemokil Chilapong of Kenya. But

Chilapong, having her first race outside Kenya was

too optimistic, and was caught at 30k. Karnatsevitch won in 2:34:35, with Chilapong second in 2:36:10. Ethiopian,

Adenech Beyene was third in 2:41:12.




Former track and field superstar, Carl

Lewis fired the starting signal, and presented the awards afterwards, including

the Fred Lebow Trophy for both winners. Lewis, 44 said, “the longest I’ve ever

run is 10k, well I don’t say run, I jogged. If I ever wake up one morning, and

really want to test myself physically, it would be at the marathon, but it

would be jogging. These guys are the heroes, the real runners”.











2             Japhet


KEN            2:10:54           



9            Festus


KEN            2:11:30           



11            Reuben


KEN            2:12:31           



6            John MALUNI           

KEN            2:13:17           



20            Samuel


KEN            2:13:27           



10            Eric


KEN            2:13:33           





1/251   Halina KARNATSEVITCH  


<st1:time minute="34" hour="2">2:34:35</st1:time>           


2/252  Chemokil CHILAPONG           


<st1:time minute="36" hour="2">2:36:10</st1:time>           


3/254  Adenech BEYENE                


<st1:time minute="41" hour="2">2:41:12</st1:time>           







<st1:time minute="41" hour="2">2:41:35</st1:time>           


5/274   Marjana LUKIC                   


<st1:time minute="42" hour="2">2:42:46</st1:time>           


6/256   Lisa VIKLUND                 


<st1:time minute="48" hour="2">2:48:44</st1:time>