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V’zuelan, Kenyan cop UWI titles

Jelani Beckles :: Newsday :: 20.10.2019

VENEZUELAN Didimo Sanchez continued his stellar form in local road running as he defended his overall and men's title at the UWI SPEC International Half-Marathon yesterday. Among the women, Kenyan Veronica Jepkosgei dethroned Colombian Palmenia Raquel Agudelo Berrio, who had to settle for second place on this occasion.

Sanchez, 34, improved on his 2018 showing, completing the 13.1-mile distance in one hour, seven minutes and 55 seconds (1:07:55). Last year he won in 1:08:49.

Kenyan Alex Ekesa, who finished second to Sanchez at the Tobago Sea to Sea Half-Marathon in May and was touted as the main challenger, was runner-up in 1:08:40.

Colombian Jose Elmer Ararat Diaz was third in 1:12:01, Matthew Hagley was fourth and the first TT runner to finish in 1:12:28, and Junior Ashton of St Vincent and the Grenadines rounded off the top five in 1:12:51. Finishing behind Hagley among the local men were Sherwyn Stapleton (sixth overall) in 1:13:37 and Shirvan Baboolal (seventh overall) in 1:13:49.

Jepkosgei, who claimed the Scotiabank Women Against Breast Cancer 5K weeks ago, grabbed the women's crown comfortably in 1:18:32. Berrio was a distant second in 1:21:13, a slower time than 2018 which saw her grab the title in 1:20:34. Linda Mcdowall of St Vincent was the first woman from the Caribbean to complete the race in 1:27:28 to seal a third place finish, Venezuelan Zuleima Amaya was fourth in 1:28:52 and Salina Scott was fifth and the first local woman to finish in 1:38:27. Sjaelan Evans was second among the local women in 1:39:26 and April Francis grabbed third spot in 1:39:48. A number of TT's top women's athletes did not compete this year including Tonya Nero, Samantha Shukla and Celine Lestrade.

Sanchez, speaking through translator Fidel Alfonso Barroso (UWI SPEC coach), said his focus for the upcoming months is to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. He plans to compete at the Houston Marathon in January in an effort to qualify for the Olympics.

Jepkosgei, 26, wanted to complete the race in a faster time, but the weather conditions affected her performance. She said, "It was humid, that's why I did not make the time I needed because it was humid. (I wanted to make) 1:15:00, but I did it in 1:18:00."

The Kenyan thought the race was a well organised event saying, "Yes, I enjoy it. I say thank you for the organisation of this race today, it was well organised. The water stations, everything was well organised and I was happy about it."

Jepkosgei, who led from the start, thanked her coach for the support. "I thank him for training me in Trinidad. It is a beautiful country, the people are friendly."

The Kenyan is eyeing the TT International Marathon in January 2020. "Next year (I am hoping to run a full marathon) that's why I am preparing. This is my second half-marathon and I am willing to run marathon next year."

Team Sabres Next Per cent won the relay event in 1:34:19, followed by St Georges College in 1:43:22 and Team Central Bank Sports Club in 1:54:46. In the relay, each team member was required to run 3.1 miles in the first three legs and the anchor needed to complete 3.8 miles.

RESULTS:

Top five men

  • 1. Didimo Sanchez - VEN - 1:07:55
  • 2. Alex Ekesa - KEN - 1:08:40
  • 3. Jose Elmer Ararat Diaz - COL - 1:12:01
  • 4. Matthew Hagley - TT - 1:12:28
  • 5. Junior Ashton - SVG - 1:12:51

Top five women

  • 1. Veronica Jepkoskei - KEN - 1:18:32
  • 2. Palmenia Raquel Agudelo Berrio - COL - 1:21:13
  • 3. Linda Mcdowall - SVG - 1:27:28
  • 4. Zuleima Amaya - VEN - 1:28:52
  • 5. Salina Scott - TT - 1:38:27

Relay

  • 1. Team Sabres Next % - 1:34:19
  • 2. Team St Georges College - 1:43:22
  • 3. Team Central Bank Sports Club - 1:54:46

This story was originally published with the title "Sanchez, Jepkoskei claim UWI Half Marathon titles" and has been adjusted to include additional details. See original post below.

VENEZUELAN Didimo Sanchez continued his stellar form in local road running as he defended his overall and men's title at the UWI SPEC International Half Marathon today, but Colombian Palmenia Raquel Agudelo Berrio had to settle for second place among the women on this occasion.

Sanchez, 34, improved on his 2018 showing completing the 13.1-mile distance in one hour, seven minutes and 55 seconds (1:07:55). Last year he won in 1:08:49.

Kenyan Alex Ekesa, who finished second to Sanchez at the Tobago Sea to Sea Half Marathon in May, claimed second place again in 1:08:40.

Colombian Jose Elmer Ararat Diaz was third in 1:12:01, Matthew Hagley was fourth and the first TT runner to finish in 1:12:28 and Junior Ashton of St Vincent and the Grenadines rounded off the top five in 1:12:51.

A new women's champion was crowned as Kenyan Veronica Jepkoskei, who claimed the Scotiabank Walk Against Breast Cancer 5K weeks ago, grabbed the women's crown comfortably in 1:18:32. Berrio was a distant second in 1:21:13, a slower time than 2018 which saw her grab the title in 1:20:34. Linda Mcdowall of St Vincent was the first woman from the Caribbean to complete the race in 1:27:28 to seal a third place finish, Venezuelan Zuleima Amaya was fourth in 1:28:52 and Salina Scott was the first local woman to finish in 1:38:27.


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V’zuelan, Kenyan cop UWI titles
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Los campeones Didimo Sánchez de Venezuela (primero desde la izquierda) y Charity Wanjiru de Kenia (primero desde la derecha) están flanqueados por Kurt Headley, jefe de la Unidad de Banca Minorista, Primeros Ciudadanos (izquierda) y el Profesor Brian Copeland, después de la Media Maratón Internacional UWI SPEC de ayer en San Agustín. FOTO DE ALLAN V CRANE / CA-IMAGES - Allan V Crane / CA-images

V’zuelan, Kenyan cop UWI titles
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Venezuelan Didimo Sanchez defended the overall and men's title at the UWI SPEC International Half Marathon, this morning. - ALLAN V. CRANE

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