Kenyans Kiplagat, Matebo win 2018 Sofia Marathon

Stephen Kiplagat of Kenya won the 2018 Sofia Marathon on October 14, setting a new course record of two hours, 14 minutes and six seconds, nearly a minute faster than the previous high mark, while fellow Kenyan Ruth Matebo won the women’s race.

Kiplagat, the winner of last year’s Brussels marathon, beat the previous high mark, set last year by fellow countryman Samson Barmao Kiprono by 43 seconds. Barmao Kiprono was unsuccessful in defending his title and did not finish the race.

Kiplagat finished more than a minute ahead of another Kenyan, Abel Kiber Rob, who was also runner-up in the other two races in the Sofia Marathon series, the marathons held in spring in Varna and Stara Zagora. Nouini Redouan of Morocco was third, with a time of 2:15:36.

The fastest Bulgarian participant in the full marathon race, which doubles up as the yearly Bulgarian championship race, was Ismail Senandji, who finished 10th with a time of 2:29:30.

Uganda-born Senandji, who has Bulgarian citizenship, finished 11 seconds ahead of last year’s Bulgarian champion Dimcho Mitsov.

In the women’s race, Matebo won the Sofia Marathon for a second year running, with a time of 2:35:21, finishing ahead of Clementine Mukandanga of Rwanda and Yeshimebet Tadesse Bifa of Ethiopia.

She also won the grand prize of 20 000 leva for finishing first in the Sofia Marathon series, having completed a clean sweep in Sofia, after winning the earlier races in Varna and Stara Zagora. She also takes home 8000 leva awarded for the first place in the Sofia Marathon, same as the men’s race winner.

Her main competitor for the grand prize was Ahmed Nasef of Italy, who also came into Sunday with two wins in the earlier races, but he only managed a ninth-place finish in Sofia.

Marinela Nineva was the fastest Bulgarian woman in the full-length marathon and the new national champion, covering the distance in 3:01:41.

(Photo: Bulgarian National Television)



The Sofia Globe staff

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