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Posted: October 12, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

(RWire) Athletics: Tadese Takes Fourth World Road Title

Ritzenhein earns bronze medal; Keitany women's world champion in Birmingham, England

rom IAAF reports

At the IAAF / EDF Energy World Half-Marathon Championships in Birmingham, England on Sunday, October 11, 2009, pre-race favorite and defending champion Zersenay Tadese of Eritrea won his fourth consecutive global road title, while Mary Keitany of Kenya earned her first 13.1 mile crown, but both won in convincing fashion.

Under cool (52F / 11C) and rainy conditions, the challengers to Tadese's three-year reign were his compatriot Samuel Tsegay, the entire Kenyan squad and the USA's Dathan Ritzenhein.

At 15K (42:20), Tadese, 27, held an eight second advantage on his nearest pursuers as Ritzenhein was strongly contesting second place and for a couple of kilometers was 5 to 10 meters clear of Tsegay and the Kenyans, but the two-time Olympian was not yet secure on the podium and with 50:20 on the clock, the gap that he had established suddenly vanished as Bernard Kipyego of Kenya powered past taking Tsegay with him.

Up front, Tadese, who had passed 20K (56:23) with 20 seconds on his opponents in a race of increasing tempo, crossed the finish in 59 minutes, 35 seconds and earned $30,000.

Behind the world champion, Kipyego and Ritzenhein, who now were clear of Tsegay, started their long sprint battle for the tape, with the Kenyan just taking silver in 59:59, one second ahead of the American, who while delighting in bronze and a massive 1:25 personal record, had the frustration of missing a sub-one hour time. Ritzenhein, 26, won the first medal at these world championships for the USA and also became the second fastest American all-time on a record standard course behind only Ryan Hall (59:43).

Based on the top three times, Kenya again took the men's team title with Eritrea the silver and Ethiopia the bronze, while the USA was fourth just eight seconds adrift of bronze (its best men's WHMC finish ever).

In the women's race, Mary Keitany, 27, moved up to the top rung of the podium this year with a dominant run as the 2007 silver medalist broke away from her one persistent and unwilling to lead opponent, Ethiopia's Aberu Kebebe, between the ninth and tenth kilometer, to score a resounding gold medal victory and personal record in 1:06:36, the second fastest at these championships (only Lornah Kiplagat's world record 1:06:25 in 2007 is faster).

Teammate Philes Ongori edged Kebebe for the silver, 1:07:38 to 1:07:39, and with Caroline Kilel fourth (1:08:16), Kenya also handily won the women's team title with Ethiopia securing silver and Russia the bronze.

For the USA, 2008 Olympian Amy Yoder Begley finished 11th overall in a personal record 1:10:09 to lead her team to fifth place.

IAAF / EDF Energy World Half-Marathon Championships
Birmingham, GBR, Sunday, October 11, 2009

1) Zersenay Tadese (ERI), 59:35, $30,000
2) Bernard Kipyego (KEN), 59:59, $15,000
3) Dathan Ritzenhein (USA), 1:00:00, $10,000
4) Wilson Kiprotich (KEN), 1:00:08, $7000
5) Samuel Tsegay (ERI), 1:00:17, $5000
6) Wilson Chebet (KEN), 1:00:59, $3000
7) Kiplimo Kimutai (KEN), 1:01:31
8) Stephen Mokoka (RSA), 1:01:36
9) Juan Carlos Romero (MEX), 1:01:48
10) Sammy Kitwara (KEN), 1:01:59 
Other U.S.
20) Andrew Carlson (USA), 1:02:50 
38) James Carney (USA), 1:04:00
64) Brett Gotcher (USA), 1:05:43
70) Scott Bauhs (USA), 1:06:07

1) Kenya, 3:01:06, $15,000
2) Eritrea, 3:02:39, $12,000
3) Ethiopia, 3:06:42, $9000
4) USA, 3:06:50, $7500
5) Tanzania, 3:08:29, $6000
6) South Africa, 3:08:36, $3000

1) Mary Keitany (KEN), 1:06:36, $30,000
2) Philes Ongori (KEN), 1:07:38, $15,000
3) Aberu Kebede (ETH), 1:07:39, $10,000
4) Caroline Kilel (KEN), 1:08:16, $7000
5) Mestawet Tufa (ETH), 1:09:11, $5000
6) Tirfi Tsegaye (ETH), 1:09:24, $3000
7) Kim Smith (NZL), 1:09:35
8) Flomena Cheyech Daniel (KEN), 1:09:44
9) Inga Abitova (RUS), 1:09:53
10) Silvia Skvortsova (RUS), 1:09:56
11) Amy Yoder Begley (USA), 1:10:09
Other U.S.
17) Serena Burla (USA), 1:10:55 
33) Amy Hastings (USA), 1:13:20
38) Heidi Westerling (USA), 1:14:22
48) Elva Dryer (USA), 1:16:42

1) Kenya, 3:22:30, $15,000
2) Ethiopia, 3:26:14, $12,000
3) Russia, 3:31:23, $9000
4) Japan, 3:31:31, $7500
5) USA, 3:34:24, $6000
6) South Africa, 3:36:30, $3000

Full results, photos and more at:

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