(IAAF)―Dickson Chumba of Kenya and Ethiopia’s Berhane Dibaba captured convincing victories at the Tokyo Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label road race, on Sunday (Feb. 25).
Dickson, who won here in 2015, clocked 2:05:30 to take his second Tokyo title while Berhane Dibaba joined the sub-2:20 club with her 2:19:51 run to also capture her second Tokyo crown. Both runners became the first man and woman to ever win a second Tokyo Marathon title.
Chumba’s winning time was the second fastest in race history, behind the course record of 2:03:58 set by Wilson Kipsang last year.
“Although I missed cracking 2:05, I am happy with the time,” Chumba said. “Next year, I would like to come back and run a 2:04.”
The race did not start as quickly as last year, when runners covered the opening five-kilometer stretch in 14:15. Instead, it was a more reasonable 14:47, with later splits of 29:38 at 10 kilometers and 44:36 at 15. They were fast, but not fast enough for the world record pace planned for Kipsang who began to drift back at the 15-kilometre water station. About a kilometer-and-a-half later, Kipsang’s pace was reduced to a walk before he eventually dropped out.
In the women’s race, Berhane Dibaba’s winning time of 2:19:51 was also the second fastest time in race history, behind the 2:19:47 course record Sara Chepchirchir set last year. Berhane also became the 26th runner to crack 2:20 for the distance.
By 20 kilometers, the lead pack was reduced to four runners –Berhane , her compatriots Ruti Aga and Shure Demise, and Amy Cragg of the US. Demise began to drift back, leaving a trio in contention 10 kilometers later.
Cragg was the next to drop back after Berhane’s 16:26 split between kilometers 30 and 35. The next five kilometers were even faster at 16:22, dropping Ruti.
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