16 April 2021, 2pm
In the men’s race Eric Kiptanui also ran a personal best in winning this specially-organised elite-only event designed to allow athletes to achieve qualifying marks for the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
It was organised with the co-operation of the Italian Athletics Federation, World Athletics and the Xiamen Marathon, which was unable to accept overseas entrants to its own race this weekend due to pandemic restrictions. Despite rain and wind the flat lap circuit and comprehensive pacing plan allowed 20 men to break 2:09 and six women to go under 2:25.
Both races took decisive shape after 30km with Tanui going clear at that point with fellow Kenyans Gladys Chepkurui and Delvine Meringor along with Ethiopia’s Gebiyanesh Gedamu. Tanui then broke away and continued to move clear to win by more than two-and-a-half minutes from her compatriot Purity Changwony, who came through to finish second.
In the men’s race a group of 26 were together at halfway and the leaders hit 30km in 1:29:38. With 5km remaining Kiptanui and Ethiopia’s Abdi Fufa Nigassa moved clear. Kiptanui kicked ahead to win by 10 seconds from Nigassa as Morocco’s Othmane El Goumri improved his PB to finish third. Nine runners finished inside 2:07.