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Kiprotich, Chemonges and Kusuro qualify for Tokyo Olympics

The 2012 London Olympic gold medalist Kiprotich clocked 02:09:04 to finish 5th and within the Olympic Qualifying Time of 2:11:30, in the 42km race.

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NN Mission Marathon

Eliud Kipchoge (KEN) 02:04:30
Jonathan Korir (KEN) 02:06:40
Kifle Goitom (Eritrea) 02:08:07
Philemon Kacheran 02:08:47
Stephen Kiprotich (UG) 02:09:04
Geoffrey Kusuro (UG) 02:09:53
Mathew Sang (KEN) 02:09:54
Filex Chemonges (UG) 02:09:59

Uganda’s marathon runner Stephen Kiprotich produced the better time among the Ugandan runners as the NN Mission Marathon ended at the Twente Airport near the city of Enschede in the Netherlands on Sunday.

The 2012 London Olympic gold medalist Kiprotich clocked 02:09:04 to finish 5th and within the Olympic Qualifying Time of 2:11:30, in the 42km race.

It was also mission accomplished for the other Ugandans in the race Geoffrey Kusuro (2:09:04) and Filex Chemonges (2:09:59) who finished 6th and 8th respectively, and within the qualifying time which the top 15 runners all made.

Runners take part in the "Hamburg Marathon" taking place at the Twente airport in Enschede, the Netherlands
Runners take part in the “Hamburg Marathon” taking place at the Twente airport in Enschede, the Netherlands

National record holder Chemonges started strongest of the Ugandan runners and was ahead by the 25km mark at which he had made 1:14:57 but faded away slowly as the race intensified with Kiprotich who was 13th then and the rest of the Ugandans, overlapping him towards the finish.

Kiprotich’s time on Sunday was 2.71 seconds slower than his personal best of 2:06:33 over the distance while Chemonges’ was also 4.47 seconds slower than his national record of 2:05:12.

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The race was won by Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge who announced his comeback with a winning time of 2:04.30 and will head to the Tokyo Olympics as one of the men to watch and having to defend his Olympic title. His time was though 2.91 seconds slower than that of his World Record of 02:01:39 set in Berlin in 2018.

Kenya
Kenya’s Marathon runner, Eliud Kipchoge

With the help of two pacesetters, the Kenyan broke away early and never looked back on the eight-lap, spectator-free course at the Twente Airport, chosen over the original venue of Hamburg that was ruled out due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This was the third Ugandan group that UAF has sent for international outings in a bid to have them improve their individual world rankings ahead of the ongoing qualification window for the Tokyo Olympics.

Uganda registered one marathon Olympic qualifier, Immaculate Chemutai in 2:29:09 during the Xiamen International Marathon on April 11 in Italy. Fred Musobo finished 15th in a time of 2:08.24 to also qualify for the men’s marathon.

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