Daniel Kiplagat Cheribo wins the 2004 Milan Marathon
Daniel Kiplagat Cheribo from Kenya took the honours at the fifth edition of the Milano City Marathon in 2:08:38, a new course record which improved the previous best of 2:08:57 set by John Sada Naya from Tanzania in 2001.
Kenyan Rita Jeptoo won the women’s race in 2:28:11.
MEN – Decisive surge at 30km
The kenyan pacemakers Eliud Lagat, William Todoo and Lorence Saina set the early pace clocking 15:22 at 5km and 30:39 at 10km in line with pre-race plans. They reached halfway in 1:04:20, and were followed by a leading pack of Kenyans which included Solomon Busiendich, Raymond Kipkoech, Daniel Cheribo, Enock Mitei, Benjamin Kipchumba Kemboi, and the 2002 Venice marathon winner David Makori.
The 1996 Olympic champion Josia Thugwane from South Africa stopped before the halfway mark for some seconds, about 20, but then continued again before later dropping out.
The leading men increased the pace and running between 20km and 21km in a 2:57 split. The halfway mark was clocked in 1:04:24.
Daniel Cheribo took the initiative at 30km and increased his lead by 5 metres over Kipchumba, thanks to two consecutive splits of 2:57 and 2:56 between the 30 and the 32km. Kipkoech and Mitei were just a few metres behind and still in contention.
With 7km to go Cheribo, who was running at 2:09 pace pulled away to establish a lead of about 200 metres over Kipchumba and 400 metres over Mitei who managed to drop Kipkoech.
In the final 3km Kipchumba tried to close the gap but Cheribo had a solid lead which he managed to sustain he finished very safely in first place in 2:08:38.
For the young Cheribo the time clocked in Milan represented a huge personal best from the 2:10:57 he set when he finished third in the 2004 Turin Marathon. "I expected to improve the PB I ran last April in Turin and run a 2:09 time,” confirmed the winner, but a time “under 2:09 is a big surprise for me.”
Kenya's Benjamin Kipchumba Kemboi who finished second in 2:09:23, also set a new personal best. He ran his previous PB on 24 October 2004 when he won in the Nairobi Marathon with 2:11:50 (1800m altitude). "Whenever I run a marathon I run to improve my PB, so I am not really surprised by the time. The race was fast although the pavement surface of the Milan's course created problems in some sections", said Kipchumba.
Enock Kipchirchir Mitei, already known to the Milan fans of road racing for his fourth place at the Stramilano Half Marathon in 2004 (1:00:32), completed the Kenyan sweep with his third place in 2:10:52. "I managed to stay with Kipchumba and Cheribo until the 20 km mark, “ said Mitei. “When Cheribo increased his pace I decided to make my race and not to follow him because I thought Daniel would not keep such a fast rhythm until the end.”
Fourth was Raymond Kipkoech, winner in Berlin in 2002 in 2:06:47, who completed his fourth marathon of 2004 in 2:11:30. He took second places in Vienna and Paris, and a win in Venice (2:09:54) just five weeks ago.
WOMEN - Jeptoo takes simple win
Kenya's Rita Jeptoo, won the women's race with the greatest of ease, improving her personal best from 2:35:14 (Stockholm earlier this year) to 2:28:11.
Italy’s Gloria Marconi, along with Jeptoo, Spaniard Griseldes Gonzales, and Kenyan Chemokil Cilapong, led the early part of the race clocking 52:10 at 15km.
Marconi, who finished eleventh at the recent World Half Marathon Championships in New Dehli, clocked 1:13:27 at halfway closely followed by Jeptoo. At this point the young Kenyan was just one second behind the 36-year-old Florence-born Marconi.
The battle reached its climax at 37km when Jeptoo increased the pace and dropped Marconi who suffered some problems due to pains in her sciatic nerve.
"I want to thank Gloria Marconi for keeping a good pace during the race which enabled me to improve my PB by seven minutes,” confirmed the 23 year-old Jeptoo. “I found it a good course with better conditions than in Stockholm. Now I will take a short rest before beginning my preparation for the cross country season,” concluded Jeptoo, who began running at school in Kapsabet aged 15 .
Marconi kept her second place finishing in 2:31:53, ahead of her Cover Sportiva Team clubmate Debora Toniolo who smashed her previous PB which she brought down from 2:45:08 to 2:34:24.
After halfway “I felt pains in my right leg. I really struggled in the final 5km and I feared I would not able to finish the race,” confirmed Marconi, who had a car accident in the spring of this year. “I wanted to improve my best time of 2:29:35 I set last year when I won in Rome but I am happy with my comeback marathon race", commented Marconi.
Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF
Results of the Milano City Marathon:
1 Daniel Cheribo (Kenya) 2:08:38
2 Benjamin Kipchumba (Kenya) 2:09:23
3 Enock Mitei (Kenya) 2:10:52
4 Raymond Kipkoech (Kenya) 2:11:30
5 Joseph Ngeny (Kenya) 2:12:08
6 Rachid Amour (Morocco) 2:15:48
7 Ibrahim Mitei (Kenya) 2:16:16
8 Vito Sardella (Italy) 2:17:32
1 Rita Jeptoo (Kenya) 2:28:11
2 Gloria Marconi (Italy) 2:31:53
3 Debora Toniolo (Italy) 2:34:24
4 Griseldes Gonzales (Spain) 2:34:28
5 Irina Songerlainen (Russia) 2:38:09
6 Rosita Rota Gelpi (Italy) 2.38:39