- Another 15:52 five kilometres split led the leader through 20 kilometres in 1:02:43, keeping prospects alive for a sub-1:06 performance. Dereje stepped up the pace in the waning stages but nonetheless just missed the barrier, clocking 1:06:01.
- Kuma duplicated her finish from last year, taking second in 1:06:45, a massive improvement of nearly two minutes on her previous best of 1:08:37 set here a year ago. Chepyego finished third in 1:08:30 some 37 seconds outside her lifetime best.
Ethiopia’s Roza Dereje and Eric Kiptanui of Kenya raced to victories at the eDreams Mitja Marato Barcelona, an IAAF Gold Label road race, on Sunday.
While the 21-year-old Dereje was an overwhelming winner ahead of her fellow Ethiopian Dibabe Kuma in the women’s race, Kiptanui took the top spot over Ethiopia’s Abebe Degefa after a thrilling sprint in the men’s.
The men’s race didn’t feature pacemakers so the usual fight against the clock and hunt for a quick time never materialised. Victory was the lone target today.
The pedestrian pace led the leaders through the opening five kilometres in 15:03.
It was then that Sweden’s debutant Napoleon Solomon, an 8:23.54 3000m steeplechase specialist, took charge of the race, upping the pace to reach 10 kilometres in 29:26, accompanied by the Kenyan triumvirate of Kiptanui, Jonathan Korir and Meshack Koech, the Ethiopian pair of Abebe Degefa and Betesfa Getahun and Ugandan Moses Kurong.
The latter dropped back from the main group shortly afterwards, eliminating his chance of reaching the podium again after finishing third last year.
The remaining sextet went through 15 kilometres in 43:52 after another 14:26 five kilometres split, with Solomon doing most of pacing.
Shortly before the 20-kilometres (58:16) point Degefa and Getahun, upping the tempo, moved to the front.