Kenyans Lawrence Cherono and Nancy Jelagat are the new Valencia Marathon champions.
Cherono, who finished second last year, put up a spirited fight to win the race sprinting in the last 100 metres to finish in a time of 2 hours, 05 minutes and 12 seconds.
Ethiopia’s Chalu Deso was second in 2:05:16 while Kenya’s Philemon Kacheran finished third place in 2:05:19.
The Kaptagat-based Cherono had trained for the last two months in preparation for the race.
Cherono was running in the lead group and when the pacemakers dropped at the 30km mark, he hit the road with Ethiopian athletes in tow before they zoomed past him.
At the 39km mark, Kacheran increased his pace and it was a battle of three athletes exchanging leads before Cherono took charge and opened a gap to win the race comfortably.
Cherono said he wanted to win the race having finished a close second behind compatriot Evans Chebet last year.
“It was a competitive race but I’m happy because I’ve finally won the race after emerging second last year. I really wanted to run well and win and it has come to pass and I really thank God for the victory,” said Cherono who is also the 2019 Boston and Chicago Marathon champion.
In the women’s category, Jelagat ran with a number of Ethiopian athletes who looked strong before hitting the front and leading all the way to the finish line.
Jelagat crossed the line in 2:19:31 ahead of Ethiopians Woldu Etagegne (2:20:16) and Degefa Beyenu (2:23:04) who came in second and third respectively.
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