Ireland’s Paul Pollock 21st in Moscow marathon

Antrim athlete just shy of personal best and second fastest European at world championships

Paul Pollock of Ireland after he finished the men’s marathon at the IAAF World Athletics Championships at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. Photograph: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Paul Pollock of Ireland after he finished the men’s marathon at the IAAF World Athletics Championships at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. Photograph: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Sat, Aug 17, 2013, 16:25

Uganda’s Olympic champion Stephen Kiprotich showed he was no one-hit wonder by breaking Kenya’s stranglehold on the men’s marathon at the world championships with victory in two hours nine minutes 51 seconds in Moscow on Saturday afternoon.

Ireland’s Paul Pollock ran a season’s best of 2:16:42 to finish in 21st position. On his debut at the Championships, the Holywood athlete was just 12 seconds short of the personal best he set last year and the second fastest European on the day behind Spain’s Javier Guerra (2:14:33) in 15th.

Pollock felt there would have been more in the tank, had it not been so hot.

“It was a very hard race, but I definitely think there’s a lot more there, running in temperatures of 30 degrees can add a couple of minutes to your time,” he said afterwards. “The plan was to run the first half conservatively, go through in about 66, 67 minutes. I went through in about 67:45, felt fairly comfortable. I was pouring water over myself all the way, but I coped okay with the conditions.

“Myself and my coach thought we could be top 10 coming in, but that was unrealistic looking now at all the Africans up front. Twenty-first and second European though, I have to be happy with that. It’s a step in the right direction.”

The doctor added he will be taking a career sabbatical until after the 2016 Olympics in Rio. “I’m putting the medicine on hold until Rio; I’ll do some part-time work only.”

Kiprotich was the surprise winner at last year’s London Games but started as one of the favourites in Moscow and became the first non-Kenyan to win the title since 2005.

Ethiopia’s Boston marathon winner Lelisa Desisa was second 21 seconds behind in 2:10:12 and compatriot Tadese Tola took third a further 11 seconds back.

Part of a large leading pack for most of the race, Kiprotich began pushing the pace just after the 30-km mark and the group slowly started to break up. With just over two km to go, the gold was between Kiprotich and Desisa and the Ugandan finally broke his rival as they ran through the Olympic Park to enter the stadium alone, smiling and waving to the crowd.

Peter Some in ninth was the first Kenyan finisher for a team that was missing twice world champion Abel Kirui through injury.

Marathon Results

1. Stephen Kiprotich (Uganda) 2:09:51

2. Lelisa Desisa (Ethiopia) 2:10:12

3. Tadese Tola (Ethiopia) 2:10:23

4. Tsegaye Kebede (Ethiopia) 2:10:47

5. Kentaro Nakamoto (Japan) 2:10:50

6. Solonei da Silva (Brazil) 2:11:40

7. Paulo Roberto Paula (Brazil) 2:11:40

8. Yemane Tsegay (Ethiopia) 2:11:43

9. Peter Kimeli Some (Kenya) 2:11:47

10. Jackson Kiprop (Uganda) 2:12:12

11. Beraki Beyene (Eritrea) 2:13:40

12. Bernard Kipyego (Kenya) 2:14:01

13. Jeff Eggleston (U.S.) 2:14:23

14. Masakazu Fujiwara (Japan) 2:14:29

15. Javier Guerra (Spain) 2:14:33

16. Samuel Tsegay (Eritrea) 2:14:41

17. Kazuhiro Maeda (Japan) 2:15:25

18. Yuki Kawauchi (Japan) 2:15:35

19. Abraham Kiplimo (Uganda) 2:16:25

20. Rob Watson (Canada) 2:16:28

21. Paul Pollock (Ireland) 2:16:42

22. Mustafa Mohamed (Sweden) 2:17:09

23. Martin Dent (Australia) 2:17:11

24. Aleksey Sokolov (Russia) 2:17:12

25. Michael Kipyego (Kenya) 2:17:47

26. Marius Ionescu (Romania) 2:18:31

27. Daniel Tapia (U.S.) 2:18:32

28. Benjamin Malaty (France) 2:19:21

29. Jordan Chipangama (Zambia) 2:19:47

30. Miguel Angel Almachi (Ecuador) 2:19:48