Kotut, Kuma shine at Paris Half Maraton

Tuesday March 8 2016

Leonard Barsoton (left) and Cyprian Kotut battle it out during the Safaricom Iten 10km run on August 2, 2014. Kotut won the Paris Half Marathon on March 6, 2016. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Leonard Barsoton (left) and Cyprian Kotut battle it out during the Safaricom Iten 10km run on August 2, 2014. Kotut won the Paris Half Marathon on March 6, 2016. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By AYUMBA AYODI
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Kenya’s Cyprian Kotut warmed up to next month's Paris Marathon with victory at Paris Half Marathon on Sunday as Dibabe Kuma of Ethiopia claimed women's honours.

Kotut, 23, finished in 1hour 1minute and 4seconds to beat compatriot Amos Kipruto by seven seconds. Ethiopia's Azmerew Mengistu finished third.

Kotut, who finished second last year in the Milan Marathon in personal best 2:08:55 will run at this year’s Paris marathon due on April 3.

Ethiopia's Kuma came home in 1:09:19, beating Kenya's Pauline Wanjiku by 31seconds, while European marathon champion Christelle Daunay of France finished third.

In Osu, Japan, Kenya’s Lucas Rotich outclassed home athlete Hisanori Kitajima by five seconds to win this year’s the Lake Biwa Marathon in 2:09:11 on Sunday.

“It’s a good time considering the warm weather conditions,” said the 25-year-old Kenyan. “Since the pace maker went back before 25km, so it was little difficult since I was in front alone.”

Kitajima finished in a PB of 2:09:16 and thus finished in the all-important first Japanese position in the final Olympic qualifying race.

Tanzania’s Alphonce Simbu was third in 2:09:19. Finishing fourth – but, more importantly, the second Japanese overall – was Suehiro Ishikawa with 2:09:25.

Since Ishikawa’s performance is the third-fastest time from Japan’s three Olympic qualifying races, his chances of making the team for Rio de Janeiro appear to be quite high.