Barno, Jepkurgat stage sweep in LA as Cheruiyot falls short in Lisbon

Sunday March 19 2017

Elisha Barno celebrates crossing the finishing line second at past race. PHOTO | FILE |

Elisha Barno celebrates crossing the finishing line second at past race. PHOTO | FILE |  AFP

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Elisha Barno and Hellen Jepkurgat swept to victories as Kenyans dominated the Los Angeles Marathon on Sunday.

However, it was not the same at the Lisbon Half Marathon where Olympic 5,000m champion Vivian Cheruiyot and James Wangari settled second in their respective races on Sunday.

Barno led his fellow countrymen to sweep the first four places when he pulled away in the final 2kms to win in 2 hours, 11 minutes and 52 seconds, beating the 2015 winner Daniel Limo to second in 2:12:16.

Willy Koitile snatched the last podium place in 2:12:47 relegating defending champion Weldon Kirui to fourth in 2:13:23.

Jepkurgat ensured that only Kenya reclaimed the title they lost last year to Ukraine Nataliya Lehonkova but also staged a 1-2 finish. Jepkurgat timed 2:34:23, beating Jane Kibii to second by almost two minutes in 2:36:14 as Colombian Angela Orjuela sealed the last podium place in 2:36:20.

In Lisbon, running her second half marathon race, Cheruiyot, who is also the Olympic 10,000m silver medallist, clocked 1:09:44 to lose the battle to World marathon champion Mare Dibaba from Ethiopia, who triumphed in 1:09:43.

World Half marathon bronze medallist Mary Wacera from Kenya was satisfied with third place in 1:09:53. Defending champion Ruti Aga from Ethiopia failed to keep with the pace to finish fifth in 1:10:02.

The men's race was fiercely competed with five runners, along with pacemaker Alex Korio, covering the opening 10 kilometres in 27:45.

However, it’s Thomas Robertson who was the surprise winner on his half marathon debut, timing 1:00:01 to stun the Kenyans who were favourite. Wangari, who tried to make a move at one time but Robertson stayed with him, was to settle second in 1:00:11.

Edwin Kibet from Kenya wrapped up the podium place in 1:00:45 as Kenya relinquished the crown Sammy Kitwara claimed last year.