1 Felix Kibitok (KEN) – 1:00:11
2 Shumay Mogos Solomon (ERI) – 1:00:40
3 Paul Kariuki Mwangi (KEN) – 1:00.42
4 Joel Mwangi Maina (KEN) – 1:01:33
5 Ambesa Tesfaye (ETH) – 1:01:53
8. Felicien Muhitira (RWA) – 1:02:00
1 Sutume Asefa Kebede (ETH) – 1:07:54
2 Ruth Karanja Waithira (KEN) – 1:10:15
3 Pauline Esikon Nagaroi (KEN) – 1:12:37
4 Philes Ongori (KEN) – 1:12:40
5 Mary Wanjohi Wangari (KEN) – 1:12:54
Aftera relatively below par performance that led him to an 8th place finish in the Stramilano Half-Marathon held over the weekend, Rwanda’s Felicien Muhitira has shifted focus to the upcoming Roma Marathon scheduled for April 8.
Muhitira, 23, finished in 8th place at the just-concluded 43rd Half-Marathon race in Milan, Italy after clocking one hour and two minutes in the race that attracted a record 7,000 participants from all over the world.
Despite missing out on podium finish, Muhitira improved on the time he posted a fortnight ago at Roma-Ostia Half-Marathon where he had used 1 hour, 2 minutes and 5 seconds.
Speaking to Times Sport from Milan on Tuesday, the former Nyamasheke Athletics Club runner noted: “The improvement is a good sign of the good things ahead as the season progresses, and I won’t stop until I get there.”
“I am working hard, and improving every day. I won’t dwell on the failure to not finish in top three on Sunday, but rather I will focus on making sure I improve in future races. After Milan, I am turning my attention to Roma Marathon,” Muhitira explained.
Kenya’s Felix Kibitok (men) and Sutume Asefa Kebede (women) of Ethiopia took the honours in central Milan.
Kibitok crossed the finish-line in 1:00:11, smashing his lifetime best of 1:03:26 set at altitude in Nairobi.
A slow start and windy conditions in the final part of the race prevented Kibitor from bettering the one-hour barrier.
Kenyan pacemaker James Kibet led a 10-man pack which included Kibitok, Simon Cheprot, Kiktor Kiplimo, Ambesa Tesfaye from Ethiopia, Joel Mwangi Maina, Joel Kipkemei Melly, Shumay Mogos Solomon from Eritrea, Paul Mwangi and Hosea Macharinyang.
They all ran in a group and covered the first five kilometres in 14:27 and reached 10 kilometres in 28:50. It is after here that Kibitok, Mwangi and Solomon broke away after 12 kilometres and reached 15 kilometres in 42:56.
Kibitok produced the decisive surge, increasing his pace in the final six kilometres and crossing the finish line in 1:00:11 with a 29-second gap over Solomon, who is coached by Italian former international Ruggero Pertile. Both Kibitok and Solomon set lifetime bests.
Two years after finishing second in this race, Mwangi finished third in 1:00:42.
In the women’s race, Kebede bettered the 1:08 barrier for the first time in her career with 1:07:54, the second-best winning time at this event and just 12 seconds short of the race record set last year by Ruth Chepngetich, albeit on a slightly different course.
Alongside Kenyan duo Ruth Karanja and Pauline Esikon, Kebede went through five kilometres in 16:26. She surged during the following five kilometres, covering that section in 16:07, and had a 10-second lead over Karanja at 10 kilometres.
The 24-year-old, who has a 10km personal best of 31:11 and a marathon best of 2:24:00, increased her leading margin to 45 seconds and passed 15 kilometres in 48:36, having covered the previous five kilometres in 16:03.