Kenya’s Evans Cheruiyot made it two marathon triumphs in as many career races on Sunday by winning the Chicago Marathon men’s title, while Russian veteran Lidiya Grigoryeva captured the women’s crown.
Cheruiyot won in two hours, six minutes and 25 seconds to head a Kenyan podium sweep. David Mandago, at 33 the eldest runner in the men’s field, was second in 2:07:37 with Timothy Cherigat third in 2:11:39.
Cheruiyot made a triumphant marathon debut last year at Milan.
Mandago surged ahead in the 23rd mile, but Cheruiyot, 26, stayed within reach and made his move to grab the lead in the 25th mile and claim the victory by 72 seconds, the sixth triumph in a row at Chicago by a Kenyan man.
In the 19th mile, Mandago had motioned for Cheruiyot to share the work at the front as warm weather made the going tougher.
“He told me to push the pace,” Cheruiyot said. “But I didn’t want to go to the front because I didn’t have experience with the marathon.”
Cheruiyot’s victory gave Kenyan men victories in four of this year’s five World Marathon Majors series races — London, Boston, the Olympics and Chicago — with the New York Marathon still to come.
However, there was only more heartache for Kenya’s Daniel Njenga, ninth in 2:17:33. Njenga has had six podium finishes at Chicago, including a third-place effort last year, but has yet to taste victory.
Reigning Rotterdam Marathon champion William Kipsang was eighth, his course record-setting victory in April having given the Kenyan the fastest entry time at Chicago.
Kenya’s Emmanuel Mutai, fourth at the London Marathon last April in a personal best 2:06:15, was sixth in 2:15:36.
Grigoryeva, last year’s Boston Marathon winner, surged ahead of compatriot Alevtina Biktimirova in the 21st mile and won in 2:27:17, defeating runner-up Biktimirova by 2:15 seconds with Japan’s Kiyoko Shimahara third in 2:30:19.
For Grigoryeva, the unseasonable heat was welcome, because it slowed the pace long enough for her to warm up a sore hip.
Then, when Biktimirova picked up the pace in the 14th mile, Grigoryeva was ready to respond.
“I was happy my friend Biktimirova picked up the pace after halfway, and no one else wanted to do it,” Grigoryeva said. “I knew I was faster than she is.”
The Russians ran together for 5 miles (8km) before Grigoryeva took control.
Romania’s Constantina Tomescu-Dita, the Beijing Olympic women’s marathon champion and 2004 Chicago Marathon winner, was fourth in 2:30:57.
She became the oldest Olympic marathon champion at age 38 with her August gold in China.
“I’m not disappointed,” said Tomescu-Dita, who completed her fourth marathon in four countries on three continents in less than nine months.
“If I didn’t have to travel so much, I might have been in the top three. My legs were really too tired. The others didn’t run in Beijing and were training specifically for this race,” she said.
Ethiopia’s Berhane Adere, who was bidding for an unprecedented third consecutive women’s title, finished 10th in 2:34:16.
Chen Jifang hits the gym for at least two hours every day and has the physique to prove it. At nearly 70, she is being held up as a shining example as China orders its vast population to get fit and lose the bulge. The grandmother from Shanghai has become a minor celebrity in in the past few months after her newfound and unlikely love for working out made national headlines. After becoming a gym regular in December 2018, Chen lost 14kg in three months, and now sports the kind of flat stomach and toned muscles that people decades younger aspire to. She
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two