LANZHOU, China, June 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- African athletes continued to dominate at the Lanzhou International Marathon, held on 11 June 2016, with a Kenyan runner leading the men's full marathon event and an Ethiopian taking the top position at the women's event.
Kenya's Robert Kwambai clocked in at 2:13:20, grabbing the top title at the men's full marathon. His winning time brought him home more than five minutes shy of his personal best of 2:08:18, set when finishing fourth at last year's Xiamen Marathon. The Ethiopian Workneh Tesfa finished second with 2:13:54. Fellow Kenyan William Yegon clocked 2:14:37 to take third place.
Ethiopian runners dominated the top three positions at the women's full marathon, with Tsehay Desalegn taking the first prize when she clocked in at 2:32:16, followed nine seconds later by Azalech Masresha. Third place went to Abeba Gebremeskel who came in at 2:35:41.
The two full marathon winners clocked at speeds quite a bit more moderate than those recorded at the prior year's event. Although the top prize for the full marathon would have meant $US 40,000 for each of the top two winners, Kwambai and Desalegn were only eligible to receive half of the award, as, according to tournament rules, male runners must do better than 2:09:30, while women must clock in at less than 2:28:00 to benefit from the full award. Achieving numbers below these two benchmarks means that only 50% of the allocated funds can be delivered to the winning runner.
Chinese runner Liu Yingcai came in tenth at the men's full marathon, while Cao Xin, Ma Qingjuan, Ge Hong claimed the eighth, ninth and tenth runner-up positions at the women's.
The Lanzhou International Marathon has been the largest international sporting event in Gansu province since 2011, the year that the race was first staged in the western Chinese city. Kenyan and Ethiopian athletes have consistently swept the top awards at each of the six events to date. Chinese runners Jia Chaofeng and Zhangjing Xia respectively took the top prize at the first two women's full marathons in 2011 and 2012, yet, champion athletes from the two African countries have since swept the awards.
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SOURCE Lanzhou International Marathon 2016 Organizing Committee