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Kipchumba and Azimeraw win TCS Amsterdam Marathon

Vincent Kipchumba won today’s TCS Amsterdam Marathon in 2:05:09. The 29-year-old Kenyan was the first to enter the Olympic Stadium, where a powerful final sprint resulted in a dramatic and exciting win. 20-year-old Degitu Azimeraw smashed the women’s course record, finishing in a sensational 2:19:26. Abdi Nageeye took the national title in 2:07:39.

The women ran a spectacular race in Amsterdam. At the 35 km mark, six women were outpacing the course record of 2:21:09 set by Meseret Hailu in 2012. In the Vondelpark (39 km) Azimeraw emerged as the fastest. She sped up the already fast pace and, in her first marathon, surprised everyone with her time of 2:19:26. She’s the fourth athlete to achieve this finish time this year. “I didn’t expect to run such a fast race,” she said with a huge smile.

Winnares vrouwen AzimerawThe three Ethiopian athletes hot on her heels also came in under the previous course record. Tigist Girma finished in 2:19:52, Azmera Gebru earned a bouquet in 2:20:48 and Besu Sado was close behind at 2:21:03.

The men were also within sight of the course record at several points throughout the race. The fast pace set by Edwin Kiptoo put the lead pack well ahead at the 30 km mark. At that point, eight athletes were in with a chance of winning the IAAF Gold Label marathon. The conditions in Amsterdam were ideal for a marathon, with a pleasant temperature and very little breeze.

The men’s race was exciting to watch. From the 37.5 km mark, the gloves were off. Elisha Rotich and Solomon Deksisa sprinted ahead before they passed the Rijksmuseum, hotly pursued by Vincent Kipchumba and Betesfa Getahun. Kipchumba ultimately proved unassailable, emerging as the victor of the 44th TCS Amsterdam Marathon with an impressive personal record. The course record of 2:04:06 set by Lawrence Cherono last year still holds.

Speaking afterwards, Kipchumba said: “Throughout the race I was convinced I could win – even when I had to fall back in the Vondelpark. I felt strong and was prepared for anything.” Solomon Deksisa from Ethiopia finished second in 2:05:16. And Kenyan Elisha Rotich won bronze in 2:05:18. Betesfa Getahun, who finished fourth in 2:05:28, also came in under 2:06.

Up until the halfway mark, Dutch athlete Abdi Nageeye looked set for victory, following the lead pack at a relaxed pace. But hamstring problems forced him to slow down. And from then on it was a long and lonely race, with a second pace setter briefly providing company. He crossed the finish line for the national title in 2:07:39, becoming a three-time national marathon champion.

Speaking to the media afterwards, Nageeye was somewhat disappointed. “I was hoping to achieve a faster time. But hamstring problems in the second half made it a difficult race. It was tough. I had to try to keep going. I’m glad my body is okay and my time is acceptable.”

Clench-fisted Frank Futselaar was the second Dutch athlete to cross the finish line, lowering his personal record to 2:14:08 in his second marathon. Roel Wijmenga placed third in 2:19:55. He remained hidden among the large lead pack in the women’s race for almost the entire distance.

Young athlete, Bo Ummels took the national women’s title in 2:32:34 in her debut marathon. “I’m delighted with the outcome of my first marathon. The pace was just right. The last seven kilometres were tough. But I really enjoyed it.” Ummels finished eighth overall. Miranda Boonstra took silver in 2:45:58 and Mirte Leloup won bronze in 2:54:36.