• Kenya’s Stanley Biwott Sets Paris Marathon Record

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Apr 15, 2012-

Race records fell in Paris, an IAAF Gold Label Road Race with Kenyan Stanley Biwott (2:05:11) and Ethiopian Tirfi Beyene (2:21:39) in spite of swirling winds and chilly temperature.

In Rotterdam pre-race favourite Moses Mosop faded to third in the race by Ethiopian Yemane Ahane in 2:04:48.

In Paris, having covered the first 5 kilometres in 14:56, the group of about 15 runners was running against the wind as they faced the first difficulty of the course at the 7th kilometre.

The wind was blowing even more yet the runners kept increasing the pace, reaching the 10th kilometre in 29:21.

Behind the pacemakers Kiprop and Philemon Limo, all the favourites were in this pack including Kenyans Eric Ndiema (a 2:06:07 performer last year at age 18), Richard Limo (former 5000m World champion in 2001), and Stanley Biwott (winner of Paris Half-Marathon last month), and Ethiopians Eshetu Wendimu (3rd in Paris last year), Tariku Jufar (winner in Houston this year in 2:06:51) and Debebe Tolossa (runner-up in Houston with 2:07:41).

By 14km to go, all the pacemakers had stopped and Stanley Biwott took the lead, followed by Ethiopians outsiders Raji Assefa (2:10:48) and Sisay Jisa (Marathon debut), while the other Kenyans were definitively left behind.

Biwott reached the 30th kilometre in 1:28:04 at a 20,44km/h speed, a pace that his rivals couldn’t sustain.

Biwott was timed in 1:42:50 at 35km, 2:08 faster than the race record split.

Well behind, three men were still in contention for the second place: Assefa, Jisa and Ndiema. The last uphill stretch was a painful experience for Biwott (1:58:10 at 40km), who visibly slow down while he was sure to win and break the race record. He crossed the line in 2:05:11, the 6th fastest time in the world this year.

“I realised early in the race that the pace was very fast”, said the 25 years old winner, before explaining his strategy: “Then I told myself that if I can maintain that speed I can win the race, because nobody would be able to follow me.”

Behind, after having got a rid of Ndiema, the two Ethiopians sprinted during the last 100m of the race and Assefa eventually took the second place in smashing his personal best by more than four minutes.

Tirfi Beyene, the fastest participant of the race (2:22:44) defended her favourite status from the beginning of the race.

Third in Paris two years ago, it was felt that she wouldn’t let the chance go by.Well behind, Turkish Sultan Haydar, visibly exhausted, improved her lifetime best by more than 10min to take the second place in 2:25:07, a national record for Turkey.

In Rotterdam, Yemane Ahane won the men’s race, an IAAF silver event in 2:04:48, while Tiki Gelana became the fourth fastest woman of all time with a 2:18:58 victory.

Yemane Adhane (27) beat compatriot Getu Feleke (25) into second place two second back, while the pre-race favourite Mosoes Mosop of Kenya finished third in 2:05:02.

Rotterdam results : Men

1. Yemane Adhane ETH 2:04:48 PB

2. Getu Feleke ETH 2:04:49 PB

3. Moses Mosop KEN 2:05:02

4. Stephen Kibet KEN 2:08:05 PB

5. Stephen Chemlany KEN 2:10:07


1. Tiki Gelana ETH 2:18:57 NR PB

2. Valeria Straneo ITA 2:23:43 NR PB

3. Merima Hasen ETH 2:25:47

4. Miranda Boonstra NED 2:27:32 PB

5. Lanni Marchant CAN 2:31:51 PB

Paris Results: Men

1. Stanley Biwott 2:05:11 (Race Record)

2. Raji Assefa (ETH) 2:06:23

3. Sisay Jisa (ETH) 2:06:26 (Debut)


1. Tirfi Beyene (ETH) 2:21:39 (Race Record)

2. Sultan Haydar (TUR) 2:25:07 (National Record)

3. Makda Harun (ETH) 2:26:46