Ugandan, Kenyan athletes dominate Istanbul marathon
Placed in the gold category by World Athletics, the prominent annual event allowed athletes from all around the world and locals to run around the city’s many historic sites.
A total of 51 elite athletes joined the long-distance running race which started at 9 a.m. local time from Istanbul’s Asian side and ended in the European part of the Turkish metropolis.
The runners competed in yesterday’s race where the finish line was located in the historic Sultanahmet Square as thousands of people are also attending the 8-km public run.
Kiplangat finished the 42-kilometer run in two hours, 10 minutes, and 18 seconds in the men’s category.
Kenya’s Robert Kipkemboi trailed five seconds behind Kiplangat to be the runner-up and Solomon Mutai from Uganda came third as he finished the men’s race seven seconds behind the leader.
In the women’s category, Jerotich came first in two hours, 24 minutes, and 15 seconds, and her fellow Kenyan Jackline Chepngeno finished in second place, covering the distance in two hours, 24 minutes, and 21 seconds.
She was followed by Ayantu Abdi from Ethiopia in two hours, 24 minutes, and 45 seconds.
Those who finished first, second and third in men’s and women’s categories got $35,000, $20,000, and $10,000, respectively.
Athletes who finish the race under six hours and 20 minutes in the 42-kilometer marathon and under two hours and 15 minutes in the 15-kilometer were also awarded their medals at the end of the race.
[HH] Public run
Last year’s race had seen a dramatic reduction in the average number of runners due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but around 20,000 Istanbul residents participated in this year’s public run.
Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu was at the start of the marathon and was joined by main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and İYİ (Good) Party leader Meral Akşener along with other officials.
After İmamoğlu gave start, residents of all ages, occupations and neighborhoods who left their cozy houses created an open-air festival on the 15 July Martyrs Bridge amid a chilly weather.
Families with their little children were seen having a walk on the bridge, while couples took selfies to post to Instagram and some elderly people experienced crossing the bridge walking with their canes.
The public run ended near Dolmabahçe Palace, an Ottoman-era marvel on the European side of the city.