MATEIKO, GEBRESELAMA SHINE IN RAS AL KHAIMAH HALF MARATHON

· Thousands Run with the Elites on Al Marjan Island –

Ras Al Khaimah (UAE), 24 February 2024: Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, the 17th Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon saw victory go to Kenya’s Daniel Mateiko and Tsigie Gebreselama of Ethiopia.

Making his third appearance in Ras Al Khaimah, Mateiko lit up a foggy morning to storm home in a time of 58:45 and win by five seconds from compatriot John Korir (58:50), while Isaia Lasoi made it a clean sweep for Kenya in the men’s event finishing third (58:55).

In the women’s race, Ethiopia’s Tsigie Gebreselama smashed her personal best by more than 30 seconds to win in 65:14 from 2020 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon champion Ababel Yeshaneh (65:44), also from Ethiopia. Tanzania’s Jacklin Sakilu was a surprise third, beating her personal best by more than three minutes (66:04)

The two winners, who saw off competition from a powerful field of World and Olympic Champions, received their trophies from His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) and Arch. Abdullah Al Abdooli, CEO of Marjan.

Hosted by the Ras Al Khaimah Development Authority (RAKTDA), the race was held exclusively for the first time on the fast and flat roads of Al Marjan Island and the elites took it in their stride despite unusual weather conditions which saw visibility limited to around 50m at the finish line.

Tsigie Gebreselama of Ethiopia – winner of the elite women’s race at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon photo by Giancarlo Colombo

A delighted Mateiko was relieved to finally get a win in Ras Al Khaimah after finishing sixth on his debut in 2022 and runner-up to Benard Koech last year.

“I was the fastest man in the field, and I promised myself I’d win here after finishing sixth and then second last year,” said the charismatic 25-year-old Kenyan, who dedicated his win to the late Kelvin Kiptum, the marathon world record holder who tragically lost his life this month.

“The conditions were very difficult – it was windy, humid and a little foggy – so this is definitely the best win of my career so far.”

While Mateiko saw off a world-class field that included defending champion Benard Koech, who finished fifth (59:42), and New York Marathon champion Tamirat Tola, who took seventh in the women’s event, the hugely talented Tsigie Gebreselama, underlined why she is considered of her country’s finest prospects.

“I am so happy to have run a personal best today,” said the 23-year-old, runner-up in the Cross Country World Championship and a woman on a mission to break a world record.

The winners of the 2024 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon with His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, photo by Giancarlo Colombo

“I was very worried about Peres (Jepchirchir) in this race, so I was surprised when she dropped back. It’s a great win for me, and while it’s too early in my career to think about the Paris Olympics, my aim is to break the half marathon world record.”

Olympic marathon champion Jepchirchir, one of the pre-race favorites and a three-time half marathon world champion, suffered a setback early on in the race when a shoe slipped off, costing her at least 20 seconds.

In addition to the elite field, the event saw over 5,700 runners compete across four race categories. In addition to the half marathon, which drew the biggest turnout, running enthusiasts competed in 5km, 10km, and 2km races on a day when the sport’s best distance athletes rubbed shoulders with runners worldwide.

The 2024 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon was also sponsored by RAK Ports, adidas, RIXOS Bab Al Bahr, and Channel 4 Radio Network. ITP Media Group and Bisleri.

Ends

Results – Men

1 Daniel Mateiko KEN 58:45

2 John Korir KEN 58:50

3 Isaia Lasoi KEN 58:55

4 Gerba Dibaba ETH 59:38

5 Benard Koech KEN 59:42

6 Birhanu Legese ETH 59:43

7 Tamirat Tola ETH 59:46

8 Amos Kibiwot KEN 59:51

9 Boki Diriba ETH 60:10

10 Alphonce Simbu TAN 60:28

Results – Women

1 Tsigie Gebreselama ETH 65:14

2 Ababel Yeshaneh ETH 65:44

3 Jackline Sakilu TAN 66:05

4 Margaret Chelimo KEN 66:31

5 Evaline Chirchir KEN 66:36

6 Catherine Amanang’ole KEN 66:49

7 Peres Jepchirchir KEN 67:19

8 Gete Alemayehu ETH 67:25

9 Megertu Alemu ETH 69:23

10 Ashete Bekere ETH 70:03

Notes to Editors

About Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA)

The Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) was established in May 2011 under the government of Ras Al Khaimah. RAKTDA aims to develop the Emirate’s tourism infrastructure and establish Ras Al Khaimah as a world-class destination for leisure and business travel, creating sustainable investment opportunities and enhancing the quality of life for its residents. In order to achieve its goals, the Authority has a government mandate to license, regulate and monitor the Emirate’s tourism and hospitality industry.

www.visitrasalkhaimah.com | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn | YouTube

Hashtag: #VisitRasAlKhaimah

​ 

 

By