Former London marathon winner Wanjiru gets four-year ban

Men’s elite winner Kenya’s Daniel Wanjiru during a press conference after winning the men’s elite race at the London marathon on April 23, 2017 in London. (Photo by Karyn Louise/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Kenyan Daniel Wanjiru, the 2017 London Marathon winner, has been banned for four years due to an Athlete Biological Passport violation, the sport’s independent Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) said.

Wanjiru, who has denied any wrongdoing, was provisionally suspended in April. His ban was backdated to Dec. 9, 2019, and all of the 28-year-old’s results since March 9 last year have been disqualified, the AIU said in a statement here.

He has 30 days to appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

ABPs are used to monitor selected biological variables over time that indirectly reveal the effects of doping rather than attempting to detect the substance or method itself.

The AIU said the anomalies in Wanjiru’s ABP went “far beyond any physiological possible adjustment”.

Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei wins London Marathon and retains title

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 04: Brigid Kosgei of Kenya competes in the Elite Women’s Field during the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon around St. James’s Park on October 04, 2020 in London, England. The 40th Race will take place on a closed-loop circuit around St. James’s Park in central London. (Photo by John Sibley – Pool/Getty Images)LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 04: Brigid Kosgei of Kenya competes in the Elite Women’s Field during the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon around St. James’s Park on October 04, 2020 in London, England. The 40th Race will take place on a closed-loop circuit around St. James’s Park in central London. (Photo by John Sibley – Pool/Getty Images)

World record holder Brigid Kosgei retained her London Marathon title with a commanding performance on a wet and closed course in the city.

The 26-year-old Kenyan, who broke Paula Radcliffe’s world record in Chicago last year, went clear of world champion Ruth Chepngetich after mile 18.

She finished alone on The Mall in two hours 18 minutes and 58 seconds to claim the $30,000 (£23,200) prize.

She was almost five minutes outside her world record set in Chicago last year.

“The weather was not good so we struggled,” Kosgei told BBC Sport. “I struggled up to the moment I finished.

“We have not prepared well due to the pandemic. I will be prepared for good results next year.”

The London Marathon, rescheduled from its traditional April date because of the coronavirus pandemic, is taking place for elite runners only over 19 laps around St James’s Park.

Ethiopian Shura Kitata wins London Marathon as Eliud Kipchoge finishes eighth

Ethiopia’s Shura Kitata (centre) celebrates winning The Men’s Elite Race alongside second placed Kenya’s Vincent Kipchumba (right) and Third placed Ethiopia’s Sisay Lemma during the Virgin Money London Marathon around St James’ Park. /VCG Image

Ethiopia’s Shura Kitata won the 2020 men’s London Marathon on Sunday in a sprint finish pipping Kenyan Vincent Kipchumba in a race that delivered a shocking result.

Kitata crossed the line in a time of two hours five minutes 41 seconds just ahead of Kipchumba who came in at two hours five minutes 42 seconds. Another Ethiopian, Sisay Lemma, came in third in a time of two hours five minutes 45 seconds.

Marathon world record holder and defending champion Eliud Kipchoge finished a distant eighth, more than a minute down. It was the first time he had failed to win a marathon since 2013.

While Kipchoge’s fans were disappointed with the result, the Olympic champion was gracious in defeat as he also explained what went wrong during the race.

“After 25 kilometers my ear blocked and it couldn’t open anymore. But this is how sport is, we should accept defeat and focus for the winning next time,” he tweeted.

The marathon had been anticipated to be a battle between Kipchoge, who was aiming for a fifth title, and Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele, the second fastest man in marathon. However, Bekele withdrew from the race on Friday with a calf injury.

This year’s event featured a unique route – a looped 26.2-mile (42.2-kilometres) course around St James’s Park within a biosecure bubble without any spectators – and only elite runners due to the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic also saw the event postponed from its original date in April.

Earlier on Sunday, world record holder Brigid Kosgei of Kenya retained her title in the women’s event winning in a time of two hours 18 minutes and 58 seconds.

Pitso Mosimane confirms departure from Mamelodi Sundowns

FILE PHOTO: Pitso Mosimane the former head coach / manager of Mamelodi Sundowns. (Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images)

Pitso Mosimane on Wednesday announced that he had left his position as coach of South African champions Mamelodi Sundowns.

Mosimane leaves Sundowns after eight years in charge, having won five league titles and the CAF Champions League title in 2016

Mosimane issued an emotional statement “with a sense of pain and sadness” confirming his departure from the 10-time league champions.

Mosimane said he had accepted an offer to join an international team but did not elaborate any further.

“I am only going away to carry the spirit of the Yellow Nation with me. After winning five league titles with Mamelodi Sundowns – the 10th for the club – how can a man ever find it easy to say goodbye to his home? How can I say goodbye to the family, the board, the supporters and the fans?”

“I am taking up this new challenge that will push me out of my comfort zone. I know Mamelodi Sundowns will use this as a fresh and new perspective.”

Earlier on Wednesday, local media had reported Mosimane had handed in his resignation amid speculation of a move to Egyptian giants Al Ahly.

Mosimane’s departure comes as a shock as he had signed a four-year contract extension with the club only in May following protracted speculation about his future.

“While I had four years remaining in my contract, this offer is a huge opportunity for me that would not have come had I not had the privilege to be part of the team that led Mamelodi Sundowns in winning the CAF Champions League and reaching the Club World Cup finals.”

Mosimane paid tribute to Dr. Patrice Motsepe, Sundowns’ president, for his support during his stint at the club saying he would not have achieved half of what he had without Motsepe.

“Mamelodi Sundowns has been my family for almost eight years. The President Dr. Patrice Motsepe has been like a father to me. He has been a mentor, a friend, a supporter and a confidante. I could never quit him or Mamelodi Sundowns,” Mosimane said.

Mosimane added that Motsepe “has blessed my move” noting that he had been “so good and generous to me.”

Mosimane’s final season with Sundowns was a historic one as the club won a historic domestic treble claiming the Premiership title, the Nedbank Cup and the Telkom Knockout Cup.

They became just the second South African side after Orlando Pirates, who have done it twice before, to secure a domestic treble.

Eliud Kipchoge named Laureus Sport For Good Ambassador

Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge celebrates in the finish area of a special course after busting the mythical two-hour barrier for the marathon on October 12 2019 in Vienna. – With a timing of 1hr 59min 40.2sec, the Olympic champion became the first ever to run a marathon in under two hours. (Photo by HERBERT NEUBAUER / APA / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE (Photo by HERBERT NEUBAUER/APA/AFP via Getty Images)

Kenya’s Olympic champion and marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge was named a Laureus Sport For Good ambassador on Wednesday, on what was the two-year anniversary of him breaking the marathon world record in Berlin.

Laureus Sport for Good, founded under the patronage of the late Nelson Mandela 20 years ago, currently supports more than 200 programmes in over 40 countries that use the power of sport to transform lives.

Kipchoge, widely regarded as the greatest marathoner in history, was the first person ever to run a marathon in under two hours. He is also the recipient of the Laureus Academy Exceptional Achievement Award.

Following the announcement, Kipchoge said he was “proud” to join Laureus in his new role to strengthen the institution’s effort to change the world through sport.

“I want to encourage young people to chase their dreams and show them a strong heart and a good mind can help achieve whatever they want. Whatever their background, everybody should have a chance,” Kipchoge said.

“I think together we can make this world a beautiful world. I hope that I can inspire young people to run. I am aware that I now have a huge responsibility to do this and it is something that I will work very hard to achieve.”

A host of renowned former athletes took to social media to congratulate the Kenyan on his new role.

“Proud to have you on board! Looking forward to working with you to make positive impact on the lives of young people through the power of sport,” former 200m and 400m record holder and Olympic champion Michael Johnson said.

“What an inspiration and role model!! Welcome to the Laureus family,” South Africa’s 2007 Rugby World Cup winner Bryan Habana said.

“Welcome Eliud- an inspirational champion human and athlete:)!!!” 18-time tennis Grand Slam champions and LGBT rights activist Martina Navratilova said.

Over the past two decades, Laureus Sport for Good has raised more than €150 million for the Sport for Development sector, and reached and helped change the lives of close to six million children and young people.

Mamelodi Sundowns crowned PSL champions for record-extending 10th time

PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA – APRIL 02: Sundowns supporters during the Absa Premiership match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Ajax Cape Town at Loftus Stadium on April 02, 2013 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Mamelodi Sundowns claimed this season’s Absa Premiership title in dramatic fashion on the final day after defeating Black Leopards 3-0 while Kaizer Chiefs could only draw 1-1 against Baroka.

Both sides had gone into the season’s final game locked on 56 points but Chiefs boasted a superior goal difference of +21 compared to Sundowns’ +18.

Lebohang Maboe was the hero as he netted a hat-trick to seal a famous victory which saw Sundowns defend the title they had won for the last two seasons.

Chiefs, who were gunning for a fifth title, meanwhile, had scored through Khama Billiat but were pegged back by Manuel Kambala’s strike.

As a result, Sundowns topped the table with 59 points, two ahead of Chiefs. It was also a record-extending 10th league title. It was also coach Pitso Mosimane’s fifth Premier Soccer League title with Sundowns.

Orlando Pirates also secured third place following a 1-0 win against Stellenbosch, who had been unbeaten since the resumption of the season.

Pirates finished level on points (52) with Bidvest Wits, who beat relegated Polokwane City 3-1, but finished above them on account of more goals scored as both had a goal difference of +11.

SuperSport United, who began the final matchday in third, suffered a 1-0 loss to Cape Town City and finished the season in fifth while their opponents ended up one position below them.

Baroka’s draw coupled with Black Leopards’ heavy defeat meant that the latter dropped into 15th place and will contest the relegation/promotion playoff against two sides from the GladAfrica Championship.

Both sides finished with 29 points but Leopards had an inferior goal difference of -17 compared to Baroka’s -9.

In other games, Amazulu and Highlands Park drew 1-1, Chippa United edged Golden Arrows 1-0 and Bloemfontein Celtic defeated Maritzburg United 3-1.

Kenya’s Jepchirchir runs fastest-ever half marathon in women-only race

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC – SEPTEMBER 05: Peres Jepchirchir smashes the women’s only Half Marathon World Record at the RunCzech Prague race this morning, wearing adizero adios pro – Adidas’ fastest ever running shoe. She set a new World Record-breaking time of 1:05:34h on September 5, 2020, in Prague, Czech Republic. (Photo by Reinaldo Coddou H./Reinaldo Coddou H./Getty Images for Hill+Knowlton Strategies / Adidas) *** Local Caption *** Peres Jepchirchir

Kenya’s Peres Jepchirchir smashed the world record for the half marathon in women-only races on Saturday, completing a 21.1-kilometer course in Prague in one hour 05.34 minutes.

The 26-year-old shattered the previous record of 1:06:11, set by Netsanet Gudeta of Ethiopia in the women-only event at the World Half Marathon Championships in 2018.

The overall women’s half marathon record of 1:04.31 was set by Ethiopia’s Ababel Yeshaneh in a mixed-gender race at Ras al-Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates in February.

Jepchirchir, who held the overall record for two months in 2017, broke away from a small field of nine runners after 20 minutes of the race in the Letna Park and reached the 10-kilometer mark in 30.32 minutes.

She slowed over the second half of the race but was still well inside the previous record.

“I’m satisfied with the result although I thought I could have run 1:04:50,” she said. “I was really tired of the last five kilometers.”

Zamalek drops points in race for second place after draw with Masr

Zamalek played out a goalless draw with bottom-placed Masr in the Egyptian Premier League. COURTESY: TWITTER/Zamalek S.C.

Zamalek missed the chance to strengthen its hold on second place after they could only draw 0-0 with bottom-placed Masr in their Egyptian Premier League match on Tuesday at the Cairo Military Academy Stadium in Cairo.

The 12-time league winners, who fielded a weakened side, were second best against their lowly-placed opponents for much of the game as they had significantly less possession and only managed two attempts with just one of them being on target.

That effort, which came late in the game, could have seen Zamalek snatch another narrow and late victory as they did in their previous match but Masr goalkeeper Essam Tharwat kept out Youssef Ibrahim’s header with six minutes to go.

Zamalek remains in second place with 39 points after 20 games, two ahead of Arab Contractors and three ahead of Pyramids F.C. in fourth. Second place in the league guarantees a team qualification for the CAF Champions League.

Zamalek will next face runaway leaders Al Ahly on Saturday at the Cairo International Stadium in one of football’s fiercest rivalries.

Elsewhere on Tuesday, Misr Lel Makkasa moved clear of the relegation zone following a 1-0 win against El Gouna at the Al Salam Stadium in Cairo.

The other game between Al Ittihad and El Masry was postponed. El Masry’s previous three games had been postponed after a number of its players tested positive for COVID-19.

Earlier on Monday, goals from Geraldo, Walid Soliman and Aliou Badji gave Al Ahly a 3-0 win against Aswan SC while Arab Contractors edged El-Hentag El-Harby 2-1 and Haras El Hodood defeated Tanta 1-0.

Al Ahly has 56 points after 20 games equating to a 17-point lead over rivals Zamalek.

Pyramids F.C. fail to retake second spot after draw with El Gaish

Pyramids F.C. came from two goals down to draw 2-2 with El Gaish in their latest Egyptian Premier League match. COURTESY: TWITTER/Pyramids F.C.

Pyramids F.C. missed the chance to reclaim second place from Zamalek after they fought back from a two-goal deficit to draw 2-2 with El Gaish at the 30 June Stadium in Cairo on Sunday.

El Gaish, who came into the game in 15th place, took a shock lead in the first minute of the game through Nasr Mansi.

Pyramids responded and won a penalty less than 15 minutes later but veteran midfielder Abdallah Said missed the resulting spot-kick.

Spurred by that let-off El Gaish, pushed for a second goal and were rewarded with a penalty of its own, which Ahmed Samir converted to double the lead on the half hour mark.

El Gaish’s game began to unravel in the second half starting with the dismissal of midfielder Mohanad Lasheen in the 52nd minute for a second yellow card.

Then, on the hour mark, striker Amor Layouni was introduced in a substitution that would inspire a fight-back from the CAF Confederation Cup semifinalists.

12 minutes later, Layouni set up Mohamed El-Gabbas to pull one back as Pyramids capitalized on their extra man advantage.

Layouni would then combine with Ghana’s John Antwi, another substitute, to level the game and earn Pyramids a point, which left them in third place, two points behind Zamalek in the race for a Champions League spot.

El Gaish, meanwhile, climbed up to 14th with 18 points; they are just two places and two points clear of the relegation zone.

African quartet help Liverpool to Premier League history

Liverpool won the Premier League after three decades of waiting. The Reds long-awaited victory was sealed when Chelsea beat Manchester City on Thursday evening. The 2019 / 2020 season is yet to end but the points gap between them and City is unassailable.

Jurgen Klopp’s side thus had cause to celebrate through Thursday night, a famous victory without even kicking a ball. They had won their mid-week game against Crystal Palace by 4 unanswered goals.

The Confederation of African Football, CAF, highlighted the impact of Anfield’s African quartet in the feat. CAF described the four players as Kings: ‘Making Africa Proud.’ The four are:

  • Sadio Mane of Senegal
  • Mohammed Salah of Egypt
  • Joel Matip of Cameroon
  • Naby Keita of Guinea

Mane and Salah were joint top scorers last season along with Arsenal and Gabon’s Pierre Emerick Aubameyang. Liverpool are the newest club to have the honour of winning the league – after Manchester United and City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Leicester City and Blackburn Rovers.

The team’s next game is against Manchester City on July 2. The Citizens will be expected to give the new champions a guard of honour at the game which will be played behind closed doors due to COVID-19 regulations since football resumed.