Latest Athletics News (Week 4 March 2018)

The Queen to start London Marathon


Her Majesty was named the official starter for the 2018 London Marathon to be held on 22 April. She will begin the yearly 26.2-mile race, which is scheduled to finish on the Mall. It will be the 38th staging of the marathon.She will start the race from Windsor Castle grounds.The Chairman of Race organizers, Sir John Spurling said they felt honoured that Her Majesty accepted the invitation. The Queen will press the start button at 10:00 BST, stepping onto a podium right in front of Windsor Castle’s Round Tower.

She becomes the third member of the Royal Family to start the marathon,which was initiated back in 1981. Princess Diana started the race in 1988, becoming the first person of the Royal Family to start the race. Prince Harry and Prince William along with The Duchess of Cambridge started the race last year.This year’s event features Britain’s Mo Farah and takes place exactly 110 years after the 1908 Olympic Marathon.


Ethiopian Asefa victorious in Women’s Stramilano Half Marathon

Sutume Asefa Kebede of Ethipioa triumphed at the 47th Stramilano Half Marathon which was held in Milan in Piazza Castello. She clocked 1:07:54, bettering the 1:08 barrier. She was just 12 seconds short of Ruth Chepngetich’s record, which she set last year, though on a marginally different course.The Ethiopian told reporters she was very happy with her win and that weather conditions being brilliant, she really liked the course. Kenyan duo Ruth Karanja Waithira and Pauline Esikon Nagaroi finished 2nd and 3rd, clocking 1:10:54 and 1:12:37 respectively. Nagaroi repeated last year’s final position.

The three of them completed 5 kilometres in 16:26 seconds after which Asefa simply took off. She covered the next 5 kilometres in 16:07, taking a hefty 10 second lead at 10 kilometres over Karanja.Asefa beat her Personal Best by 46 seconds, which she set at the Karlovy Vary Half Marathon last year.


Kenya’s Kibitok takes top spot at Stramilano Half Marathon


Felix Kibitok of Kenya took the honours at Stramilano Half Marathon held in Milan on Sunday. Kibitok smashed his Personal Best of 1:03:26, which he had set in Nairobi at altitude, clocking 1:00:11 as he finished first. Kibitor was prevented from breaking the one-hour barrier by a slow start and extreme windy conditions.Eritrean Shumay Mogos Solomon and Kenyan Paul Kariuki Mwangi finished 2nd and 3rd, clocking 1:00:40 and 1:00:04 respectively. A pack including Kibitok, Solomon and Mwangi passed through the first 5 kilometres in 14:27, reaching 10 kilometres in 28:50. The three broke away from the rest of the pack after 12 kilometres, reaching 15 kilometres in 42.56.

Kibitok had a decisive surge in the final six kilometres, finishing with a 29-second lead over Solomon, who also broke his previous Personal Best.The Kenyan said that though he felt happy after his win, he also was disappointed for not being able to break the one-hour barrier.