SINGAPORE - Even Singapore's elite marathoner Mok Ying Ren could not end African dominance at The Straits Times Run in the City on Sunday (July 16) morning.
Mok, who will represent Singapore in the marathon at the SEA Games next month in Kuala Lumpur, finished third in the 18.45km event in 1hr 4min 15sec.
Kenyan runner James Karanga clocked 1:03:54 to be the first to cross the finish line in front of the National Gallery Singapore at the Padang, with the Republic's cityscape serving as a stunning backdrop. Nepalese Nimesh Gurung, 23, was second in 1:04:09.
Karanga, 26, who arrived in Asia in May to participate in running events, said: "I like the route. It's beautiful because we ran along the water.
"I was not expecting myself to win and to win is a bonus for me. I just wanted to test my speed and endurance because I'm still trying to see how conditioned my body is in this new climate."
"I just wanted to set my best time, see how my body respond because climate is changing."
Mok, a 29-year-old orthopaedic surgical resident at the National University Hospital, said: "I am happy that the race went the way it did as I had been largely focused on preparing for the SEA Games. It was an honest effort today, and I enjoyed racing among some of the very best today."
The signature 18.45km competitive race, named after the year the national was founded, was swept by Kenyan runners for the third year in a row.
Jemimah Wayua Musau, 30, topped the women's race, ahead of compatriot Naomi Wambui Muriuki and Singaporean Rachel See.
The champions each take home a Panasonic TV worth $2,999 and $300 worth of New Balance vouchers.
Wayua is looking forward to bringing her new TV home to Kenya. She said: "I felt like I ran quite slowly today because I just took part in another run yesterday.
"But I'm happy to win my first race on my first time here in Singapore. I like it because the weather was not too hot, nor was it too cold."
Some 5,000 runners took part in the 18.45km race, while 4,000 runners participated in each of the 10km and 5km events.