Kirui wins more gold for Kenya in marathon repeat
By John Bagratuni Sep 4, 2011, 7:59 GMT
Daegu, South Korea - Abel Kirui attacked after 28 kilometres to claim back-to-back marathon world titles for Kenya with the biggest winning margin to kick off the final day of the world championships Sunday.
Kirui's victory came some 10 hours before the men's 4x100m relay, most likely featuring Jamaican sprint star Usain Bolt, was to round off the nine-day championships.
Kirui, 29, broke a four-man leader group and steadily increased his lead en route to victory in 2 hours 07 minutes 38 seconds on an overcast morning.
Compatriot Vincent Kipruto took silver in 2:10:06 a massive 2:28 minutes behind the winner and Feyisa Lilesa of Ethiopia earned bronze in 2:10:32.
Kirui, who had clinched his first gold in 2009 with a late break at 39km, ran the second half of the 42.195km race more than two-and-a-half minutes faster than the first half, 1:02:31 to 1:05:07. The super-fast second 21.1km earned him the huge winning margin of 2:28 minutes.
Kenya is enjoying its best worlds with now seven gold, six silver and three bronze to rank second behind the United States (10-7-4) ahead of the final six events set for Sunday night at Daegu stadium.
'I pushed the race after 20km and that's what gave me the gold,' said Kirui. 'It is a very special moment for me to win the second world title. It is a good sign before the (2012) Olympics.'
'I am happy we managed to win the long distance races in Korea. kenyans were running well and that gives me a lot of motivation for the next races.'
Lilesa said he had no chance to get gold once Kirui raised the pace, but was happy to at least give his country a fourth medal in what has been below-par championships, with Tirunesh Dibaba absent, Kenenisa Bekele limping out of the 10,000m and Meseret Defar denied by by Kenyan rivals.
'Until now, Ethiopia did not have a good championship, now at least we have another medal,' said Lilesa.
Kenya, meanwhile, has the chance for more gold in the women's 1,500m and men's 5,000m, on the final agenda along with the 4x100m relays, men's triple jump and women's long jump.