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Ethiopia’s Kitata Wins London Marathon3 minutes read

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Ethiopian male marathon runner, Shura Kitata, on Sunday won the London Marathon in a relatively slow two hours 05.41 minutes ahead of competition favourite, Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya.

The 24-year-old outsprinted Kenya’s Vincent Kipchumba by one second to claim the London Marathon crown.

World record-holder Kipchoge faded late in the race to suffer his first defeat in seven years.

Sisay Lemma of Ethiopia was third in 2:5.35, with Kipchoge eighth in 2:06.49 having suffered cramp and a blocked ear.

Kipchoge was the event’s hot favourite, as he had in his last race a year ago become the only man to break the two-hour mark for the distance.

In the absence of injured Kenenisa Bekele, Kipchoge was widely expected to lift a fifth London crown but was never able to impose his usual speed in the relentless cold rain.

He was in a pack who went through halfway in just under 63 minutes —- very pedestrian in relation to his recent races.

It was in fact not near his official world record of 2:01.39 set in Berlin two years ago.

Ethiopians Lemma and Tamirat Tola, both sporting woollen hats to stave off the cold, took up the running as the field began to realise that, perhaps, Kipchoge was struggling.

They were right.

The favourite, whose face never usually gives any indication of suffering, was showing the occasional grimace and he lacked his usual smoothness.

At one point the leaders clocked a five-minute mile, a virtual jog at elite level.

Then, as never previously seen during his all-conquering career, the 35-year-old Kipchoge broke, dropping back from a pack of six with just over three miles to go.

As the pace eventually picked up it was down to three, shoulder to shoulder, as they entered The Mall in a finish more like an 800m race than a marathon.

The tall Kipchumba looked as if he would do it as he edged ahead, but Kitata fought back magnificently to take the tape.

Kitata, who finished second in London in 2018, thanked his missing compatriot for his victory.

“Kenenisa Bekele was helping me for this race and he advised me how to run,” he said.

“I trained for the same course, I am very happy to win.”

Kipchoge had won 12 of his 13 previous marathons —- the blip being a second place behind a then-world record in his second outing over the distance in Berlin in 2013.

“I’m really disappointed. I had a problem with my right ear after it blocked, and then I really cramped and had problems with my hip from about the last 15 km,” he said.

“It’s really cold but I don’t blame the conditions and I’m still there to come back again.”

Earlier, Kenyan world record-holder Brigid Kosgei was a comfortable winner of the women’s race in 2:18.58 as American Sara Hall produced a great finish to snatch second from Ruth Chepngetich.

The races, originally postponed from April because of the COVID-19 pandemic, were run over almost 20 laps of a fenced-off course in a “controlled secure biosphere” around St James’s Park.

Although there was no mass field this year, around 40,000 people were running the distance at venues of their choice through the day.

They will receive official finisher’s medals and raise millions of pounds for charities hard hit by the cancellation of the April race.

East Africa Sports News

Harambee Stars defender Mandela joins Sundowns

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Brian Mandela joins Sundowns

Harambee Stars of Kenya defender Brian Mandela Onyango has joined South African Premier Soccer League (PSL) champions Mamelodi Sundowns.

Mandela was confirmed as a Sundwons player after signing a three-year deal with the Brazilians. Sundowns also have an option to extend the deal after the initial term expires.

“Brian Onyango has joined Mamelodi Sundowns on a three-year deal with a two-year option to extend,” Mamelodi confirmed on their official website.

“The centre-back comes with a wealth of international and local experience as he has played for Santos, the Team of Choice, and his national side. Onyango first moved to South Africa in 2012 to join the now ABC Motsepe based Santos.

“The Kenyan International joins Masandawana as a free agent, he last turned out for Maritzburg United.

“Welcome to Masandawana Brian Onyango.”

Mandela started his career with Posta Rangers in 2010, a year later, he made the move to 11-time Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions Tusker FC where he played for two years, before his move to South Africa.

Mandela’s first club in South Africa was Santos, where he made 48 appearances, and scored three goals in three seasons.

He then made a move to Maritzburg United where he made 77 appearances. His contract with Maritzburg expired in 2019, and has been a free agent since then.

Mandela will be part of the Mamelodi Sundowns team for the new 2020/2021 season. The defending champions are currently second on the PSL table with four points from two games played so far this season.

The defender was part of the Harambee Stars side that beat Zambia 2-1 in an international friendly match played at the Nyayo Stadium. Mandela started at the center of the defense, but was later substituted for Wazito FC defender Johnstone Omurwa.

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East Africa Sports News

Uganda Coach McKinstry Names Home-Based Squad For AFCON Qualifier

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Uganda Coach Johnathan McKinstry

The Cranes of Uganda Coach Johnathan McKinstry has named home-based stars for their upcoming AFCON 2021 qualifier. He put out a list of 22 home-based stars from which five or six of the players will be considered to be with the main squad of 20 foreign based players he named last week.

McKinstry stated that the home-based team will go through rigorous training and assessment between 2nd and 8th of November, before he makes his final selection.

“As previously announced in addition to the squad of 20 foreign based players for the upcoming double header against South Sudan in the A, we would be looking to adding 5 or 6 Uganda Premier League players to the mix so that they can compete for places in the squad.” Uganda Coach Johnathan McKinstry stated.

“In order to give the local based players the best support, we will be running an advance camp between 2nd and 8th November. In addition to that, we shall be able to have some early arrivals of foreign based players to join this camp in Kampala.”

“The camp will also help the local based players to push their levels higher and hopefully get some minutes on the field against South Sudan.” McKinstry concluded.

Uganda will face South Sudan on November 12 at St Mary’s Stadium, Kitende before playing themselves again 4 days later in Nairobi.

Home-based Squad

Goalkeepers: Alionzi Nafian (URA FC), Lukwago Charles (KCCA FC), Mutakubwa Joel (Kyetume FC).

Defenders: Ndahiro Derrick (Sc Villa), Galiwango Disan (Vipers SC), Willa Paul (Vipers SC), Mandela Ashraf (URA), Iguma Denis (KCCA FC), Kato Samuel (KCCA FC), Juuko Murushid (Express FC), Lwaliwa Halid (Vipers SC), Mbowa Patrick (URA FC).

Midfielders: Mawejje Tony (Police FC), Kyeyune Saidi (URA FC), Kagimu Shafiq (URA FC), Watambala Kairm (Vipers SC), Owori David (Sc Villa), Anukani Bright (KCCA FC).

Forwards: Oriti Ibrahim (Vipers Sc), Karisa Milton (Vipers SC), Mukwala Stephen (URA FC), Ahebwa Brian (KCCA FC).

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East Africa Sports News

AFCON Qualifier: Mozambique Coach Confident Ahead Cameroon Game

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Mozambique’s football team coach, Luis Goncalves, is optimistic his boys will put up a good performance against the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon in their upcoming Africa Cup Of Nations (AFCON) qualifier next month.

Cameroon and Os Mambas of Mozambique play a double-header in November with the West African’s playing hosts on November 12 while travelling for the reverse fixture on November 16.

The Mambas of Mozambique are in Group F alongside Cameroon, Rwanda and Cape Verde.

Gonclaves said on Monday in Lagos on telephone that the international friendly matches his team played against Angola and Guinea Bissau would assist them to prepare for the AFCON qualifying double header against Cameroon.

“We have learnt lessons from the friendly matches. It was important for us to play the friendly matches after the COVID-19 break because Angola and Guinea Bissau are strong teams.

“We have analysed our performances and will make necessary corrections,’’ he said.

The Portuguese-born manager said it was too early to say if there would be changes in the team that would play against Cameroon.

“We have some injuries in the team. Our evaluation of the two international friendlies are important and that is key to determine if there will be changes.

“Whatever decision we take at the end, we will do our best when we meet Cameroon,’’ Goncalves said.

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