Brunei marathoner sets new personal best in Amsterdam meet

Fadhil Yunus

Brunei Darussalam serial marathoner Justin Yong recorded a new personal best in the 44th TCS Amsterdam Marathon 2019 after completing the race in less than four hours in Amsterdam, Netherlands recently.

The competitor clocked a time of 3:49.56s in the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Gold Label Road Race-recognised event, revising his old mark of 4:01.52s which he achieved at the Kota Kinabalu Borneo Marathon in May this year.

Justin was ranked 6,641st out of a total of 47,000 marathoners, finishing in the top 14 per cent of the field.

The Amsterdam race marked Justin’s sixth marathon and his first outside of Borneo. Previously, he has competed in the Great Borneo Series in 2019 where he ran in the Miri Marathon in March, Borneo Marathon and Kuching Marathon in August.

Justin, who also took part in the Barcelona Trifecta Weekend recently, also confirmed his participation in the Miri Marathon and Borneo Marathon next year.

Brunei marathoner Justin Yong poses with the national flag. PHOTO: JUSTIN YONG

Some of the course’s highlights included the start and finish in the Olympic Stadium, the passage through the Rijksmuseum and stretches along the Amstel and through the Vondelpark.

Kenya’s Vincent Kipchumba emerged as the champion in the men’s event after clocking 2:05.09s while Ethiopia’s Solomon Deksisa finished as runners-up with a time of 2:05.16s. Kenya’s Elisha Rotich came in third with a time of 2:05.18s.

Ethiopia’s 21-year-old Betesfa Getahun took fourth spot with 2:05.27s in his maiden appearance in Amsterdam.

The course record for the men’s event set by Lawrence Cherono last year remained intact.

In the women’s event, Ethiopia’s Degitu Azimeraw ran a course record with a time of 2:19.26s to win the gold medal, bettering the previous record of 2:21.09s set by Meseret Hailu in 2012.

Tigist Girma and Azmera Gebru completed an Ethiopian podium with times of 2:19.52s and 2:20.48s, respectively.

Other categories in the event’s programme included a Mizuno Half Marathon, TCS 8km Run, the Kids Run and a Mini Marathon.

Around 47,000 participants from 140 countries, including Brunei Darussalam, took part in the meet.

The TCS Amsterdam Marathon is renowned to be one of the fastest courses of the world.