Yufang wins again, Kenyan men make clean sweep
KUALA LUMPUR: Top national long-distance runner and walker Yuan Yufang (pic) kept her winning streak when she won the women’s Open category of the 2008 KL Tower International Forest Towerthon Challenge here yesterday. The 32-year-old 20km walk gold medallist at the Korat SEA Games last December also won the race last year.
“I am happy to win the title again and I think I had a better time. Last year, I clocked about 16 minutes. This year’s challenge was quite tough as there was strong challenge from the Kenyan athletes,” said Yufang, who has been participating in the towerthon since 2005. “After the SEA Games, this is my first win in a local competition. My next task is to get ready for the Beijing Olympics. I will be going to China for training after Chinese New Year.” Yesterday, Yufang won the race in 15:58 and her effort was worth RM3,000 in prize money. Kenyan Esther Kabura Ngungi finished second in 16:34 and Malaysia’s Mariana Mohamad took third place in 17:05. Kenyan participants took the top three places in the men’s Open category. Julius Kangethe Mbgua (13:55) finished ahead of Philip Ronoh Philip Ronoh (14:01). Their compatriot, Kennedy Kiproo Lilan, shared third placing with Malaysia’s marathon runner Shahrudin Hashim. Both clocked 14:13. “I think I will be back next year. I never expected to do this well since it was my first time taking part in the event. I am a half-marathon runner,” said Mbgua, 25, who began taking part in long and middle-distance runs since he was 15. Mbgua was a runner-up in the Penang Bridge Run last year. The event yesterday also featured participants from Thailand, Morocco and Japan. – Bernama