’22 COMMONWEALTH GAMES gold medalist Victor Kiplangat of Uganda ran his championship marathon record to 2–0, surging hard at 32K en route to a dominating 2:08:53 win. Maru Teferi (2:09:12) sprinted past Leul Gebrselassie (2:09:19) in the final 195m to claim Israel’s first Worlds marathon medal.
While Kiplangat’s win was a bit of a surprise, he certainly didn’t lack confidence or pedigree.
The 23-year-old half-brother of track standout Jacob Kiplimo said, “Last year I was Commonwealth Games champion and that made me think this year I must become world champion, and hopefully next year in Paris I will become Olympic champion.”
After competing on the U20 track circuit and winning the ’17 World Mountain Running Championships, Kiplangat shifted to the roads in ’19, logging 8 sub-62 half marathons, including a 59:26 PR. Making his marathon debut in ’21, Kiplangat won a frantic 4-man uphill sprint in İstanbul, then in ’22 ran a 2:05:09 PR in Hamburg and 2:10:55 for his Commonwealth gold in Birmingham.
He began ’23 with a 2:06:03 runner-up effort in Osaka. Experienced beyond his years, Kiplangat was more than ready for a hot and humid championship race (82F/28C at race’s end): “It was hard today because it was so hot but I felt comfortable because I trained well and prepared for this weather.”
This race was slow to develop as the runners made their way around the 10K criterium loop that included 8 crossings of the famed Széchenyi Chain Bridge.
With two-thirds of the race done, Kenyan Timothy Kiplagat led a thick pack of 21 past the 28K post in 1:26:21 — averaging 3:05 per K, 2:10:08 pace. Kiplangat, Teferi and favored defending champ Tamirat Tola ran at the back of the gaggle, staying clear of the early-race commotion.
As Kiplagat surged at the start of the sixth crossing of the Danube, Kiplangat sped up the incline and shot past the Kenyan coming off the bridge, extending the hard burst with 2:58 and 2:54 kilos to reach 30K in 1:32:14 with Ugandan teammate Stephen Kissa at his side.
After paring the lead pack to six, Kiplangat shifted focus to refueling as he eased through the aid station and a 3:09 kilo content to recover after the breakaway — until he was overrun by the chase group led by Japan’s Ichitaka Yamashita.
As the lead pack accordioned back to 13 contenders at 31K, Kiplangat launched a second hard surge, so hard that as Kissa gave chase, he collided with Kiplagat and crashed. A bit later Teferi hit the pavement exiting an aid station.
“When I reached 30km I knew It was my day,” Kiplangat said. “I felt strong and decided to push. I had great energy and that allowed me to go.”
Compact and mountain-runner strong, Kiplangat packs a lot of torque into his stride, and as he sped around the U-turn through the start/finish area at Heroes’ Square and headed into the final 10K loop only Tola and Gebrselassie managed to cling to the torrid pace.
Taking on his Ethiopian rivals, the Ugandan hammered out 2:53 and 2:52 Ks, then dropped Tola with a 2:49 34th kilo. Gebrselassie did well to hang on through 37K when Kiplangat broke free.
“The pace was high,” said the winner, “but I had more to give. It was tough but I always felt I had the power.”
Both Kissa and Teferi rallied from their falls and the Ugandan recordholder climbed back to 4th before giving out. Teferi fared better, moving past the soon-to-step-off Tola at 38K, and then speeding past the spent Gebrselassie to reverse a dramatic finish he lost in last year’s European Championships.
“Today was very hard for everybody,” said the runner-up. “I tried to do my best in this hot weather and I am glad I managed to finish with the silver. I wanted to get the best out of me and this competition was my biggest target. I am glad I managed to fulfill my dream. I fell down after the 30km and tore my t-shirt. Somebody touched me and I just fell but I tried to move on to finish the race in the best possible condition.”
MEN’S MARATHON RESULTS
(August 27; 10km loop)
1. Victor Kiplangat (Uga) 2:08:53 (65:03/63:50)
(15:35, 15:03 [30:38], 15:33 [46:11], 15:26 [61:37], 15:28 [1:17:05], 15:09 [1:32:14], 14:39 [1:46:53], 14:59 [2:01:52], 7:01);
2. Maru Teferi (Isr) 2:09:12 (65:04/64:08);
3. Leul Gebrselassie (Eth) 2:09:19 (65:03/64:16);
4. Tebello Ramakongoana (Les) 2:09:57 PR (65:09/64:48);
5. Stephen Kissa (Uga) 2:10:22 (65:04/65:18);
6. Milkesa Mengesha (Eth) 2:10:43 (65:03/65:40);
7. Hassan Chahdi (Fra) 2:10:45 (65:39/65:06);
8. Titus Kipruto (Ken) 2:10:47 (65:03/65:44);
9. John Hakizimana (Rwa) 2:10:50; 10. Daniele Meucci (Ita) 2:11:06; 11. Yohanes Chiappinelli (Ita) 2:11:12; 12. Ichitaka Yamashita (Jpn) 2:11:19; 13. Zachery Panning (US) 2:11:21 (65:25/65:56); 14. Timothy Kiplagat (Ken) 2:11:25; 15. Haftom Welday (Ger) 2:11:25; 16. Isaac Mpofu (Zim) 2:11:33; 17. Tsegaye Getachew (Eth) 2:11:56; 18. Mehdi Frere (Fra) 2:11:59; 19. Rory Linkletter (Can) 2:12:16; 20. Haimro Alame (Isr) 2:12:32; 21. Tariku Novales (Spa) 2:12:39; 22. Ayad Lamdassem (Spa) 2:12:59; 23. Sondre Nordstad Moen (Nor) 2:13:12; 24. Ibrahim Chakir (Spa) 2:13:44; 25. Mohamed Reda El Aaraby (Mor) 2:13:55; 26. Johannes Motschmann (Ger) 2:14:19; 27. Mustapha Houdadi (Mor) 2:14:30; 28. Ben Preisner (Can) 2:15:02; 29. Johnatas De Oliveira (Bra) 2:15:13; 30. Justin Kent (Can) 2:15:26; 31. Tiidrek Nurme (Est) 2:15:42; 32. Jose Santana Marin (Mex) 2:15:51; 33. Berhane Tsegay (Eri) 2:16:08; 34. Adam Nowicki (Pol) 2:16:22; 35. Kenya Sonota (Jpn) 2:16:40;
36. Segundo Jami (Ecu) 2:16:49; 37. Mgondzashe Ncube (Zim) 2:17:02; 38. Shaohui Yang (Chn) 2:17:12; 39. Paulo Roberto Paula (Bra) 2:17:18; 40. Levente Szemerei (Hun) 2:17:20; 41. Omar Hassan (Ref) 2:17:23; 42. Kazuya Nishiyama (Jpn) 2:17:41; 43. Onesphoré Nzikwinkunda (Bur) 2:18:27; 44. Nicolás Cuestas (Uru) 2:19:20; 45. Jie He (Chn) 2:19:48; 46. Nelson Ito (Per) 2:20:00; 47. Ernesto Zamora (Uru) 2:20:59; 48. Goitom Kifle (Eri) 2:21:28; 49. Peiyou Feng (Chn) 2:22:00; 50. Hüseyin Can (Tur) 2:22:11; 51. Tumelo Motlagale (SA) 2:22:14; 52. Moath Al-Khawaldeh (Jor) 2:22:33; 53. Maxim Răileanu (Mol) 2:22:46; 54. Thomas Rainhold (Nam) 2:23:36; 55. Nicolas Montañez (US) 2:24:58 (66:52/78:06); 56. Nicolae Alexandru Soare (Rom) 2:25:14; 57. Luis Ostos (Per) 2:25:50; 58. Justino Pedro Da Silva (Bra) 2:25:53; 59. Byambajav Tseveenravdan (Mgl) 2:30:28; 60. Simon Sibeko (SA) 2:31:59;
… dnf—Elkanah Kibet (US) (65:03), Andrew Rotich Kwemoi (Uga), Kaan Kigen Özbilen (Tur), Alphonce Felix (Tan), Simon Tesfay (Swi), Khadar Basheer Youssouf (Som), Félicien Muhitira (Rwa), Melikhaya Frans (SA), Ilie Alexandru Corneschi (Rom), Derlis Ayala (Par), Abdi Nageeye (Neth), Jamsran Olonbayar (Mgl), Ser-Od Bat-Ochir (Mgl), Patricio Castillo (Mex), Hamza Sahili (Mor), Joshua Belet (Ken), Eyob Ghebrehiwet Faniel (Ita), Morhad Amdouni (Fra), Tamirat Tola (Eth), Oqbe Kibrom (Eri), Hassan Waiss Rayaleh (Dji), Ibrahim Hassan Bouh (Dji), Olivier Irabaruta (Bur), Joaquín Arbe (Arg).
(leader 5Ks: Bat-Ochir 14:59; Kiplagat 30:35; Belet 46:09; Kiplagat 61:36; Chiappinelli 1:17:05; Kiplangat 1:32:14, 1:46:53, 2:01:52)