Kenyans triumph at 29th Belgrade Marathon

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Belgrade, April 17 (IANS) Abel Rop Kipruto and Stellah Barsosio Jepngetich from Kenya won the 29th Belgrade Marathon event.

Kipruto finished the men’s race in two hours, 23 minutes and 59 seconds while Jepngetich took the women’s in 2:43:41 here on Saturday, reports Xinhua news agency.

After the race, Kipruto said that the race was tough because of the warm weather, but that he is extremely satisfied with his result.

“First half was OK, but during second half it became terribly hot,” he said on Saturday.

“This is my second marathon, my best time is two hours 16 minutes.”

Jepngetich, who also participated at the Belgrade marathon for the first time, said the victory made her very happy, especially because of the tough conditions at the track.

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“I am satisfied, but weather was very difficult for me, and it was too hot,” she said.

Director of the Belgrade Marathon Dejan Nikolic said that he is satisfied with the organization of the 29th marathon because it gathered 33 percent more participants, and 50 percent more foreign participants than last year.

“In half-marathon and marathon we had 6,000 participants from 60 countries. Around 20,000 people participated in the Fun Run,” he said.

Nikolic added that marathon had a great atmosphere and a great promoter Javier Sotomayor, a former Cuban athlete and a record holder in high jump. He explained that organisers did not expect breaking of records, having in mind the warm and dry weather.

The record for the 42-kilometer race through the streets of Serbian capital was set in 2006 by Japhet Kosgei who finished in 2:10:54. Record for the women’s race was set by Cristina Pomacu in 2001 at 2:29:44.

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