Little-known Kenyan Kibiwott Kandie timed his finish to perfection at the Corrida Internacional de São Silvestre, overtaking pre-race favourite Jacob Kiplimo in the final stages of the 15km road race with a 42:59 course record on Tuesday.
Marathon world record-holder Brigid Kosgei won the women’s race by more than a minute, clocking 48:54 to finish just 20 seconds shy of the course record.
Kandie and Kiplimo broke away from the other three men in the lead pack just after the half-way stage. Just before the climb up Brigadeiro Luis Antônio Avenue, Kiplimo took advantage and entered Paulista Avenue – less than 700 metres from the finish line – with a comfortable lead, seemingly destined to become the first Ugandan winner of the race.
But Kandie started kicking hard in the final 40 metres of the race and overtook Kiplimo just before the line, stopping the clock at 42:59 to win by one second. Both men finished well inside the previous course record of 43:15 that had been set by Paul Tergat back in 1995.
Kosgei, contesting her first race since clocking a marathon world record of 2:14:04 (pending ratification) in Chicago in October, lived up to her status as the pre-race favourite in the women’s contest.
Compatriot Pauline Kamulu tried sticking with Kosgei in the early stages, but it didn’t last long as the 25-year-old already had a clear lead at the five-kilometre mark.
By the time she reached the uphill section of the race, her opponents were no longer in sight. Realising that she wasn’t far off course record schedule, Kosgei increased her pace in the closing stages but ultimately finished just shy of the mark in 48:54. She became just the third woman in the event’s history to complete the course within 49 minutes.
1 Kibiwott Kandie (KEN) 42:59
2 Jacob Kiplimo (UGA) 43:00
3 Titus Ekiru (KEN) 43:54
4 Geoffrey Kipchumba (KEN) 45:10
5 Joseph Panga (TAN) 45:33
1 Brigid Kosgei (KEN) 48:54
2 Sheila Chelangat (KEN) 50:10
3 Alem Nigussie (ETH) 50:12
4 Pauline Kamulu (KEN) 50:28
5 Delvine Meringor (KEN) 50:51
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