Cape Town – Ethiopian athletes dominated the SANLAM Cape Town Marathon as Asefa Negewo and Bethelehem Moges won the men and women’s races respectively.
Defending my title was important to me. I am really happy to be able to defend my title as this race put me on the map,” said Negewo. “I was hoping for a faster time, I wanted to break my course record (2:08:42) but there was a bit of wind between 11 and 18 kilometres which slowed us down, and the guys didn’t want to work together. So if things go well I would like to come back next year and try and win the race for the third time and break my course record.”
Second was countryman Ketema Negessa (2:11:06) with Duncan Maiyo of Kenya taking third (2:11:26).
The women’s race saw some drama as pace maker Helalia Johannes went out at a blistering pace, dropping the main protagonists by the halfway mark, reached in 1:15.22. Strung out behind her were all the race favourites some 38 seconds adrift. Running comfortably in that chase pack were Meserey Asefan, Betelhem Moges, Fantu Jimma and Agnes Kiprop amongst others. South Africa’s Irvette van Zyl, content to sit roughly a minute further down.
By 35 kilometres it was clear that, pacemaking duties fulfilled, Helalia Johannes was going for the win and when she saw the finish line two kilometres out, she must have thought that the win was hers. But with less than a kilometre to go, she was caught by Betelhem Moges who went on to win in 2:30:22, Johannes coming through six seconds adrift (2:30:28) and Agnes Kiprop third in 2:31:00.
“I was looking for 2:27 or faster, but the pace between and 10km and 25km was a bit slow, so I lost some time there,” said Moges. When asked if she was worried about the pace maker being so far ahead, Moges was a bit surprised that Johannes had stayed in the race for so long. “I was expecting her to pull out and was not aware that she was so far ahead, so I was surprised when I saw her in front of me. But I saw she was struggling and so I surged and caught her.”
Read more at: IAAF.org