Kenya’s Cosmas Kiplimo Lagat won his second Zurich Maraton de Sevilla title at the IAAF Bronze Label Road Race in the Spanish city of Sevilla.
Lagat reclaimed the title that he first and last won in 2014 by breasting the tape in 2:08:14 to slice the course record he set two years ago 19 seconds when he was previously assigned to run as a pacemaker before heading off on his own for a surprise win.
“I’m delighted to reclaim my title. I ran conservatively during the first half and decided to push the pace afterwards on this course and I hope to return next year to get a hat trick of victories,” remarked Kiplimo Lagat.
Spain’s runner Carles Castillejo ,37, clocked 2:11:29 to claim the Spanish national title whose time in Seville was the second fastest of his career and also got guaranteed for a place on Spain’s squad for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
The Spaniard came through strongly over the final seven kilometres, having been 10th at 35km and fourth at 40km, before settling for second spot at the end of the race.
In third place was Morocco’s Spain-based veteran runner Hassane Ahouchar, aged 41, who timed 2:11:39.
Home girl Paula Gonzalez won her debut over the classic distance in 2:31:18, to pip Morocco’s Koutar Boulaid into second place by eight seconds as Spain’s Estela Navascues came through to finish third in 2:32:49.
“Today my long-standing dream and aspirations of getting an Olympic spot have came true, am so excited that I don’t know how to express my delight,” commented an ecstatic González.
A group of African athletes had set the early pace in the women’s race as the Kenyan trio of Miriam Wangary, Rael Jepyator and Eunice Jeptoo, plus Ethiopia’s Roman Mengistu, went through the first 10km in 35:30, which put them on schedule for sub-2:30 final time.