Sunday, June 20, 2010

Kenyans Race Off With Titles At Jakarta International 10K

Even without the presence of three-time defending champion John Cheruiyot Korir, Kenyan runners continued their domination of the Jakarta International 10K on Sunday. 

Titus Kwemoi Masai won the elite men's category after finishing in 28 minutes, 21 seconds, while Kenyan compatriot Gladys Jepkoskei Kwambai finished in 33:50 to win the elite women's title. Both runners pocketed $4,500 in prize money. 

Masai said he had hoped for a better time but was slowed by the steamy conditions. 

"It was a great race, and I'm happy to win the event," he said. "Originally, I had set my target to run in 26 to 27 minutes, but the weather was really hot and after five kilometers I felt the humidity drain my stamina. 

"I tried to keep my pace and won the race. I would like to congratulate the organizers for making a great event. I know it's not easy to hold the race in Jakarta." 

Masai was little troubled in winning the title, outpacing his nearest competitors by more than 10 seconds. Martin Kityo Toroitich of Uganda finished second in 28:34, followed by Henry Kipsigei Chirchir of Kenya, who was 18 seconds behind the winner. 

In the women's elite division, Kwambai was matched stride for stride by Tatyana Aryasova of Russia for much of the race, before the Kenyan was able to pull away with a final sprint to win the title by three seconds. 

Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Triyaningsih finished third in 34:12, becoming the only local runner on the podium. 

"It was very nice race, but the weather conditions were too hard for me as the humidity is very high. I'm used to running in drier conditions," Kwambai said. 

With Jauhari Johan absent from the race, Agus Prayogo won the national men's division in 31:42 and finished sixth overall. Olivia Sadi won the national women's division in 37:49. 

Triyaningsih and Agus used the event as part of their preparations for the upcoming Asian Games in Guangzhou, China. 

"It was not my best time, but it's good enough," Triyaningsih said. "I had a stomach problem that kept me from getting my pace. I hope I can reach my peak in the Asian Games." 

Agus said: "We're still in general preparations, and I have many events as a build-up for the Asian Games, including the national championship. I really hope I can have a better performance than in the SEA Games."

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