naaatt :: media_artricles :: 2019
Didimo is UWI Spec Half-Marathon king againRachael Thomspon-King :: Trinidad Guardian :: 20.10.2019
Didimo Sanchez Mendoza ran a well thought out race to better his time from last year and repeat as champion of the University of the West Indies Sports and Education Centre's (UWI SPEC) International Half-Marathon on Sunday.
The Venezuelan executed his strategy perfectly to win in one hour, seven minutes and 55 seconds to take the 16th edition of the event, which started and ended at UWI SPEC in St Augustine. He won last year's edition in 1:08.49.
Sanchez Mendoza made a surge at the 10-mile mark to beat Kenyan Alex Ekesa, who clocked 1:08.40, in second-place, just at they finished in this year's Sea-To-Sea half-marathon. Colombia's Jose Elmer Ararat Diaz was third in 1:12.01.
Speaking after the race through translator Fidel Alfonso Barroso, a Cuban-born sprints and hurdles coach at UWI, Sanchez Mendoza said: "The race was very good, I prepared to break the record and win the race."
Already thinking ahead to next year, he added: "I plan to compete next year in the T&T International Marathon and to meet the mark for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. I am preparing to qualify for the Olympic Games. I will next take on the Houston marathon in the United States aiming to qualify for the Olympics."
Matthew Hagley was the first T&T athlete to cross the line. The Defence Force runner was fourth with a 1:12.28-clocking and was the lone T&T athlete among the top five. Junior Ashton, of St Vincent and the Grenadines, was fifth with 1:12.51.
Kenya's Veronica Jepkoskei-Ngososei also ran a well calculated race to become the new women's champion in a time of 1:18.32.
"I did good though it was humid," said the soft-spoken Kenyan runner afterwards.
"I didn't make the time I needed because it was humid. I wanted 1:15.00 but I made it in 1:18.00. It was tough going past the fifth mile, I put extra to make sure I win."
Jepkoskei-Ngososei was a clear winner ahead of last year's champion Palmenia Berrio (Colombia) 1:21.13 while in third was St Vincent and the Grenadines' Linda McDowall in 1:27.28.
"I was leading from the start and I was moving well. I put in the effort to make sure when I passed the fifth mile I was thinking in my mind that I should put more effort in and I did and won," said Jepkoskei, who won the Scotiabank Walk Against Breast Cancer 5K some weeks ago.
"I like racing in Trinidad. It was well organised. The water station, everything was well organised and I was happy about it. This is my second half-marathon and I am willing to run the marathon next year."
In the relay event, Team Sabres was first with 1:34:19, followed by St George's College in 1:43:32 and the Central Bank Sports Clubin 1:54:46.
The event, which lived-up to expectations, saw all finishers, whether they sprinted, stumbled or walked across the line, getting their participation medal. This brought rilliant smiles across their faces as they posed for selfies and took individual and group shots celebrating their achievement.
Participants in yesterday's UWI SPEC International Half-Marathon head off after being sent on their way by the race starter outside UWI Spec, St Augustine, on Sunday. © CA-images
Venezuela's Didimo Sanchez Mendoza crosses the finish line to win the 2019 UWI Spec International Half-Marathon outside UWI Spec, St Augustine, on Sunday. He clocked 1:07.55 to regain his title. © CA-images. © CA-images
Kenya's Veronica Jepkoskei-Ngososei celebrates as she crosses the finish line to take the women's category of the 2019 UWI Spec International Half-Marathon outside UWI Spec, St Augustine, on Sunday. She clocked 1:18.32 for the win. © CA-images
A physically challenged competitor flashes a smile as he makes his way along the UWI SPEC International Half-Marathon course on Sunday. © CA-images