Kenyans sweep top spots in all four races

Kenyan David Kibet crossing the finish line for the men's 18.45km race at the National Stadium yesterday. This was the 27-year-old's first race in Singapore.
Kenyan David Kibet crossing the finish line for the men's 18.45km race at the National Stadium yesterday. This was the 27-year-old's first race in Singapore.ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN

The Straits Times Run at the Hub was David Kibet's first race in Singapore. It proved to be an unforgettable one for the Kenyan, who was the first to cross the finish line at the National Stadium yesterday.

The 27-year-old clocked a time of 58min 33sec to win the men's 18.45km race in convincing fashion.

Kibet led a Kenyan sweep of the top spots in all four races.

Margaret Njuguna, 46, topped the women's 18.45km race (1:12:06), while Charles Kipkorir Kipsang, 24, (32min 25sec) and Gladys Tarus, 25, (35:13) claimed the 10km men's and women's titles respectively.

They each won products from sponsors Panasonic and Aibi and vouchers from New Balance.

Kibet was delighted with his loot, which included a Panasonic Smart TV worth $3,199, New Balance vouchers worth $300 and an Aibi "Reebok Easy Tone Step" worth $299, saying: "The best thing about taking part in runs here are the prizes - they give a lot of great prizes.

"My friends told me to take part in the ST Run - I'm glad I listened to them.

"I enjoyed the run. It was good to run together with some of my friends here and win."

The Kenyan contingent had flown in from Malaysia on Saturday evening just to compete in the run. They flew off right after the race.

And like the team's quick but fruitful stop in Singapore, they were just as fast during the race, stunning pacesetters and blitzing their respective fields.

For instance, even though Kibet deems himself as an up-and-comer, he still finished a whopping eight minutes ahead of runner-up Melvin Wong (1:06:33), the top local finisher.

The 32-year-old Wong, who represented Singapore at the recent SEA Games in the 5,000m and 10,000m, was pleased with his performance.

It puts him in good stead for his next outing - the Incheon Songdo International Half Marathon next Monday in South Korea.

He said: "My coach and I decided that we should go by (putting my best) effort into the race, because we are flying out for another race.

"It's a good way to prepare and tune up for that and I'm glad I finished it."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 28, 2015, with the headline 'Kenyans sweep top spots in all four races'. Print Edition | Subscribe