Habari za Wiki - 30 March, 2021

Istanbul Half Is Sunday And Will Be Faaaaaast!

Organizers of the Istanbul Half marathon have prepared a feast for us by putting together a star studded field ahead of this Sunday’s competition. The men’s field has six athletes who have run under 60 minutes. The hottest contest is between former World Half Champion and former world record holder Geoffrey Kamworor and the current holder of both those titles, Kibiwott Kandie. This will be Kamworor’s first international competition since 2019. 

The women’s field is stacked too, marathon world record holder Brigid Kosgei who boasts of the third fastest time (1:04:49) in half marathon will line up against fellow Kenyans World Half Champion Peres Jepchirchir and Ruth Chepngetich, the 2019 winner. Both men and women will have a host of Ethiopians to deal with as well. We bet this is going to be the best race of the year so far.

Second Place for Kenyans at the Cinque Mulini Cross Country

Beatrice Chebet and Leonard Bett each finished second at the iconic Cinque Mulini 2021 – the second leg of the World Athletics Cross Country Permit series. 

In the women’s 6.2km race, Ethiopians Tsehay Gemechu & Alemitu Tariku together with Kenya’s Sheila Chelangat and Beatrice Chebet pulled away in the early stages. Chebet, Gemechu, and Chelangat injected some pace in the second lap, opening up an 11-second gap on Tariku. Then Chelangat dropped back leaving the final lap battle to Chebet and Gemechu. While Chebet led for the most part of it, Gemechu launched her kick in the final straight to win by three seconds in 18:53. Chebet was second with 18:56 while Sheila Chelangat third. 

Reigning champ Leonard Bett led a nine-man lead group that included Nibret Melak. They lost two guys on the second lap with Bett going in 12:14. With an increased pace in the fourth lap, Melak, Bett, Kiplangat, Edris broke away. And in a dramatic sprint finish, Melak beat Bett by one second in 28:57, Bett’s time was 28:58 – what a close finish. 

Athletics Events On Hold

All athletics events have been suspended in Kenya following the President’s directive to suspend all sporting activities. This means the third athletics Kenya meet is cancelled as well as the upcoming Eldoret City Marathon scheduled for 11 April 2021.

The change clearly puts Athletics Kenya in a very complex position as Kenya was supposed to select athletes to the World Relays championships, select athletes ahead of Africa Senior Athletics championships, and host qualifiers for the Tokyo Olympic Games. 

Amos Kipruto Inspired By Tergat And The Late Samuel Wanjiru

Ahead of his Olympic debut, world marathon bronze medalist Amos Kipruto revealed that he looks up to Paul Tergat and the late Samuel Wanjiru for inspiration. The marathoner is simply doing this by watching their running videos and that is how he even developed his running style. He particularly singled out Wanjiru's race in the 2010 Chicago Marathon against Ethiopian Tsegaye Kabede, where Wanjiru won in 2:06.24.

Non-Kenyan News

Derartu Given National Recognition

The legendary Derartu Tulu was on Sunday granted a national recognition for her achievement that goes beyond athletics. Derartu who currently serves as the president of Ethiopia Athletics Federation was the first black African woman to win an Olympic gold when she won the 10,000m at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games.

Derartu Said, "I thank God for granting me this special day to witness the love and respect from my people."

Atlanta Run Club Raises $19,000 To Combat Anti-Asian Racism

This world is full of racial abuse and discrimination. In the past year, there has been a spike around the world in racial abuse towards Asians. In the United States on 16 March, a 21 year-old white man shot and killed eight people, six of whom were Asian women.

To support the victims of this senseless attack and the Asian American community as a whole, Atlanta Run Club (ARC) started a fundraiser for Asian Americans Advancing Justice — Atlanta (AAAJ-Atlanta), and the group raised $19,000 in just two days. Another reason we love runners.

Running Laps On Track Isn’t A Joke – Semenya

Caster Semenya, the two time 800m Olympic champion over the weekend ran her second 5000m race in her career finishing second in 16:14.43. Her time is well outside the Olympic qualifying standard of 15:10.00. And she agreed doing laps – 12 and a half laps at the AGN Championships in Pretoria wasn’t a joke.

She’s trying out the 5000m due to the World Athletics decision to limit women with naturally higher testosterone levels from any race between 400m to the mile, forcing her to either do 100m/200 or upgrade to 5000m if she has to compete in Tokyo. There is no similar restriction placed on men. 

From The Enda Community

We’re blushing over here! Abree Murch posted this incredibly kind endorsement on Instagram:

"Random Unsolicited Endorsement: @endasportswear Lapatets are honest-to-goodness ✨MAGIC✨ If you run with a midfoot strike like me, go get you a pair of these. Right now. Like, RIGHT now. Seriously. I'm actually excited to start running again!🏃🏼‍♀️"

Abree Murch in Instagram