Monday, December 4, 2023

Kiplangat, from mountain races to marathon gold

The Ugandan Victor Kiplangat (2h:08.53) has surprised the great favorites to achieve his first great international success with the victory in the men’s marathon of the World Athletics Championships that conclude this Sunday in Budapest and in which Spain remains third in the medal table. He was accompanied on the podium by the Israeli Teferi (he was fifth with 7 km to go) and the Ethiopian Gebresilase with the Spaniards far from the finalists and quite close together (Tariku Novales was 21st, Ayad Lamdassem 22nd and Mohamed Chakir 24th).

The story of the new 23-year-old marathon king is curious. Kiplangat could only be 19th in 2016 in the 5,000 meters of the U20 World Championships and the following year he finished in the same position in the junior race of the Cross World Championships. so much that he switched to mountain racing and in 2017 he was proclaimed world champion in Premana in the 13 km test. Five years later, in 2022, he won the Commonwealth Games marathon and this Sunday he has reigned worldwide.

Public attendance was notable throughout the tour. despite the early hours (seven in the morning) in a clear sign that the road tests do interest the public. The most complicated note was that the thermometer was rising and in the final stretch of the test it was already approaching 28 degrees (up to 37 is expected on this last World Cup day).

Lamdassem and Chakir were close for almost the entire test EFE

With Ayad Lamdassem as theoretician head of ranks at 41 years old and after being fifth in the Tokyo Games, the Spanish team was completed by Ibrahim Chakir and Tariku Novales in principle with the reference of the 27th position of Meritxell Soler 24 hours earlier in the women’s event.

At the beginning the race was marked by the fleeting departure of Ser-Od Bat-Ochir, a true character of athletics. At 41, the Mongolian was facing his eleventh World Cups consecutive and covered the first five kilometers in less than three minutes (14:59) to lead the large leading group in 34 seconds. It didn’t take long for the Asian to be caught and he withdrew after kilometer 10 after many minutes of glory in a practice that he has already done on occasion.

That tenth thousand was covered in 30:35 with the Kenyan Timothy Kiplagat leading a group with an overwhelming African majority in which Lamdassem (26th to 10 seconds) and Chakir (27th to 11) made the rubber with Novales further back (44th to 21). . While the heat was increasing, the tonic did not vary on the edge of the equator in the passage through the 20th and for the half marathon, still with Kiplagat in the lead (1h:01.36) with the Hispano-Moroccans 29th and 30th at the same distance and the Hispano-Ethiopian 38th at 20 seconds.

Tariku Novales, the best Spaniard in the men’s marathon EFE

The Italian of Ethiopian origin Chiapellini led the marathon around kilometer 25 (1h:17.05) just before a key moment of the test occurred with the Ugandan Kiplangat as the protagonist. The African changed around 28 and he pressed again at the entrance to Avenida Andrassy next to the Bajcsy-Zsilinszky útca metro, which meant, among other things, that Lamdassem finally got off the hook as Chakir had already done.

The pull of Kiplangat, an athlete with a powerful lower body from his mountain stage, indirectly led to the fall of his compatriot Stephen Kissa in a collision with one of the Kenyans and when passing through 30 the reality is that the race was definitely broken, with Kiplangat in front and a group of 11 behind him. Lamdassem was 20th to 19 seconds, Chakir 26th to 45 and Novales in progression 29th to 50.

Finally Kiplangat took behind him the Ethiopian Laul Gebresilase and both passed outstanding for 35 (1h: 46.53) offering the impression that they could play the gold, with the Abyssinian Tamirat Tola third to 15 seconds and the recovered Kissa fourth to 17. Already without options to be finalists, Lamdassem lost 1 :36 (22nd), Chakir 2:18 (24th) and Novales continued to climb positions to pass in his wake at five seconds.

Victor Kiplangat, happy with the Ugandan flag WORLD ATHLETICS

kiplangat, the current Commonwealth champion and gold six years ago in the World Mountain Races, he kept tightening the rope and little by little he was overcoming the resistance of the Ethiopian to emulate his compatriot Joshua Cheptegei (gold in 5,000 meters in these World Cups). The Ugandan remained firm with 2,175 meters to go (2h:01.52) with 12 seconds ahead of Gebresilase and 44 over the Israeli of Ethiopian origin Maru Teferi, whose comeback was giving her a clear chance of being bronze. Lamdassem was twentieth, Novales already 23rd and Chakir 24th.

So things, Kiplangat already knew he was the winner when he passed under the Andrassy Avenue pedestrian bridge and he began to smile just as he stepped onto the orange carpet at the entrance to the Plaza de los Héroes. She received the Ugandan flag and began waving it in front of the spectacular Monument to the Founders of the Magyar Nation. He won with 2h: 08.53 and as soon as he crossed the finish line he thanked heaven while behind Teferi finished a climb that took him to silver (2h: 09.12) and relegated Gebresilase to bronze (2h: 09.19).

And the Spanish trio? Well, that step forward that he took in the last third of the test led Novales to be the best with his 21st position (2h:12.39), 20 seconds before a Lamdassem who led after him (22nd) with Chakir 24th (2h:13.44). The first 11 classified were born in Africa in a series that broke the Japanese Yamashita with his twelfth position.


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