Kenyans and Ethiopians reigned supreme at the just concluded Paris Marathon with two Kenyans, Cyprian Kotut and Visiline Jepkesho topping the male and female competitions respectively.
Cyprian Kotut took home a double for winning and also achieving a personal best of 2 hours, 07 minutes and 13 seconds on Sunday at the Paris Marathon.
Kotut who is the brother of three-time London marathon winner Martin Lel, outdid Ethiopian Abraha Gebretsadik, defending champion Mark Korir who settled second in 2:07:31, to clinch the title.
Kotut participated in the Paris Half Marathon last month in 1:01:00, 1 minute 8 seconds short of his personal best at his Half Marathon appearances; 59:12 in 2014.
The 24-year old who made his marathon debut at the Milan marathon in 2015 where he finished second has become the 12th Kenyan to win this marathon.
On winning the Paris marathon, he says he was shocked knowing he was inexperienced in the distance ran, and at some of the big names he knew were partaking in the marathon.
“It’s a bit surprising,” said Kotut, “but not so much as some of my training teammates ran well like Mike Kigen, who was second in Seoul in 2:05. But it’s my second experience at the marathon and I had that fear that I wouldn’t have so much experience. My objective was to run my personal best (2:08:55), so it’s perfect.”
The first French runner to finish was Timothée Bommier, who was 13th in a personal best of 2:15:38.
Visiline Jepkesho Takes On The Women Marathon
Two time marathon winner in Milan and Lisbon, Visiline Jepkesho took home the women’s title after in 2:25:53. Although Jepkesho did not beat her Personal Best like she had hoped, she was still glad to take home the win.
“My goal was to improve my PB (2:24:44),” said Jepkesho,“Unfortunately I didn’t succeed but I’m very happy to win. During the race, I was expecting someone to move. But when I saw no one did, I decided to move.”
The Top 5 Finalists At The Paris Marathon
1 Cyprian Kotut (KEN) 2:07:11
2 Laban Korir (KEN) 2:07:29
3 Stephen Chemlany (KEN) 2:07:37
4 Micah Kogo (KEN) 2:08:03
5 Gebretsadik Abraha (ETH) 2:08:18
1 Visiline Jepkesho (KEN) 2:25:53
2 Gulume Tollesa (ETH) 2:26:14
3 Dinknesh Mekasha (ETH) 2:28:12
4 Rebecca Chesire (KEN) 2:31:29
5 Yebrgual Melese (ETH) 2:32:05