Wilson Chebet wins the 2009 Alphen 20km (Ingeborg Houdijk) © Copyright
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Chebet and Wangui, the winners at a very windy Alphen 20km

Alphen aan den Rijn, The NetherlandsKenyan Wilson Chebet and his compatriot Pauline Wangui were the winners of a very windy edition of the 20km in Alphen aan den Rijn on Sunday (8).

Chebet ran the distance through the so called ‘Green Heart’ of the country in 57:52. Wangui clocked 1:06:39.

The 23-year-old Chebet broke away from his last three opponent around 12 kilometres and was never in danger afterwards. A big group ran the first 5km in a rather slow 14:25, and then Chebet, the Ethiopians Raji Assefa, Tessema Abshiro and Frenchman Mohammed El Hachinimi broke away and ran together to around the 12 kilometres. In the process they passed the 10km in 28:40.

Fighting a strong head wind in a temperature of around 8 degrees CT Chebet pressed the pace and finally took a decisive lead on his opponents. He passed 15 kilometres in 43:04 and was never in danger after that time. His winning clocking was exactly a minute over the course record of 56:52 which Ethiopian Eshetu Wondimu set two years ago (56:52) in this race which is called the classical opener of the road racing season in The Netherlands.

Six seconds behind the victor, Assefa and Abshiro sprinted for the second place. Both runners clocked 57:58, Assefa getting the better of his opponent. Hachinimi  finished a distant fourth in 58:11.

Pauline Wangui (24) was a convincing winner of the women’s race. She was 51 seconds faster as compatriot Gladys Otero (1:07:48). Agnes Kiprotich also of Kenya finished third in 1:10:18.

Chebet and Wangui were very happy with their victories. “It was a difficult race with this strong wind,” Chebet said afterwards. “I was fighting the wind alone” was the comment of Wangui.

Wim van Hemert for the IAAF


1.Wilson Chebet  Ken  57:52
2. Raji Assefa  Eth 57:58
3. Tessema Abbshiro  Eth 57:58 correct
4. Mohammed El Hachinimi  Fra 58:11
5. Robert Kiprono  Ken 59:36
6. Richard Limo  Ken 59:59
7. Rachid Ezzouniou  Mar 1:00:04
8. Riyad El Mostapha  Bhr 1:00:09
9. Elijah Mogo  Ken 1:00.31
10. Mesfin Adimasu  Eth 1:01:22
11. Julius Kengethe  Ken 1:01:27
12. Abdelhadi El Hachimi  Mar 1:01:54
13. William Kipsang  Ken 1:02:56
14. Koen Raymaekers  Ned 1:03:35
15. Fransua Woldemariam   Ned 1:06:01
1.Pauline Wangui   Ken 1:06:39
2. Gladys Otero   Ken 1:07:48
3. Agnes Kiprotich  Ken 1:08:18
4. Frida Lopeda  Ken 1:10:50
5. Petra Kaminkova Cze 1:11:43