KUCHING: The Sarawak government is keen to continue supporting the Kuching Marathon, which is expected to grow bigger in terms of participation with runners from other countries.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the annual marathon, now in its fifth year, has become a successful international marathon attended by thousands of runners from overseas, around the region and locally.
“The Kuching Marathon has now grown from strength to strength from the inaugural event in 2014. This shows that this event has attracted keen interest and enthusiasm amongst marathon runners and enthusiasts alike.
“I believe there is a high possibility that runners from countries like China, Australia and Indonesia who will be join this marathon in the future,” he said in his speech read by Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports Datuk Snowdan Lawan at the Kuching Marathon 2018 prize presentation ceremony held at Padang Merdeka here yesterday.
He also commended the Kuching Marathon Association (KMA) for initiating this event and making it a success every year.
Around 10,000 runners from over 20 countries participated in this year’s marathon, which comprised four categories; namely 42km (full marathon), 21km (half marathon), 10km and 5km.
Kenya runners once again showed that they are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to marathons as they made a clean sweep in the 42km Men and Women Open categories.
The 42km Men Open saw Mburu John Muiruri emerged as champion when he crossed the finishing line in 2:20:22 followed by his compatriots Josphatkiptanuitoo Chobei and Stephen Mungathia who clocked 2:20:33 and 2:21:31 to win first and second runner-up places respectively.
For the 42km Women Open, last year’s winner Margaret Wangui Njuguna succeeded in defending her title with a time of 2:53:42 beating her fellow compatriots Kangogo Loice Jebet and Chelagat Risper Lagat who won the first and second runner-up titles after clocking 2:57:06 and 3:03:27 respectively.
Winners of both 42km Men Open and Women Open took home RM8,500 each whereas the first and second runners-up won RM3,500 and RM2,000 each.
The full marathon was divided into national and veteran categories for both men and women. Under the national category, Ruston Masri (2:59:16), Daved Simpat (2:59:35) and Wincentbert Latius (3:11:23) won the top three spots for men while Tho Siaw Khim (3:28:59), Ng Gek Ngia (4:04:49) and Kona Liau (4:05:44) were the top three winners for women.
For the veteran category, Prasoet Phaisan (3:17:56) from Thailand was declared the winner for the men followed by Tan Song Hua (3:24:30) and Liew Joon Kien (3:24:27) from Malaysia whereas Kaori Tokai (3:56:32) from Japan won first place for the women followed by Kona Liau (4:05:44) and Sim Li Wui (4:19:37), both from Malaysia.
In the half marathon category, the Men Open was won by Muthoni Peterson Kibui (1:10:26) from Kenya followed by Younes Ammouta (1:20:20) from Morocco and John Njihia (1:21:30) from Kenya while the top three in the Women Open went to Murungi Betty Kathambi (1:22:30) from Kenya, Naum Jepkosgei (1:26:28) from Kenya and Lee Leh Ha (1:44:56) from Malaysia.
For the veteran category, the top three places for both men and women went to Malaysian runners Jasri Saibin (1:31:41), Mohd Syariff Mohd Ekbar (1:33:47) and Wong Chii Kai (1:38:50) for men while Ling Mee Eng (1:44:01), Tang Sii Eng (1:55:54) and Ho Hie Knew (1:57:24) won in the women category.
On hand to present winners with their prizes, which amounted to RM80,000 this year, were Snowdan, Kuching North City Commission (DBKU) mayor Datuk Abang Abdul Wahap Abang Julai and Plaza Merdeka Holdings Sdn Bhd managing director Dato Steve Ng, who is also Kuching Marathon 2018 advisor.
Also present were Kuching Marathon Association president Wong Cheng Yi and Kuching Marathon director Liew Tang Chieh. The Borneo Post is the official media for Kuching Marathon 2018.
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