Kipruto, Rionoripo win 'Battle of the Teams' race

Athletes take a walk on Charles Bridge in Prague, Czech Republic

Athletes take a walk on Charles Bridge in Prague, Czech Republic before competing in the "Battle for the Teams" race on May 30, 2021. Benson Kipruto won in the men's category clocking 2:10:16 while Purity Rionoripo won in the women's category timing 2:20:14.
 

Photo credit: Pool

What you need to know:

  • Kipruto, who is was in a group of five athletes, surged forward after 40km mark and went for the tape in a race that focused more on team effort than individual times
  • Kapsabet-based Kipruto helped his team of Birell win the overall title after bagging 7152 points ahead of Team Volkswagen who accumulated 6787
  • In the women's category, another Kapsabet-based athlete Rionoripo pulled out of the group of about eight athletes after the 28km mark leading all the way to the tape clocking 2:20:14

Kenyans Benson Kipruto and Purity Rionoripo are the winners of the "Battle of the Teams" race that was held in Prague, Czech Republic on Sunday.

Kipruto, who is was in a group of five athletes, surged forward after 40km mark and went for the tape in a race that focused more on team effort than individual times.

He clocked 2:10:16 ahead of compatriot Dickson Chumba who timed 2:10:26 while Nobert Kigen was third in 2:10:27.

“Today we were running as a team and we were not chasing time. It is something new but I really enjoyed and I would love to participate in this race again,” said Kipruto. 

He said that he had done good training back home and was happy to have finished the race in good shape as he shifts focus to next season. 

“We have been at home for a long period that no one expected and seeing competitions coming back slowly is a good thing. We won’t take this for granted because the pandemic has changed our lives forever,” he added.

The race started with athletes grouped in teams of eight participants. The four teams were sponsored by Volkswagen, Team Mattoni, Team CEZ Group and Team Birell for the race.

Six athletes out of the team of eight scored points.

Kapsabet-based Kipruto helped his team of Birell win the overall title after bagging 7152 points ahead of Team Volkswagen who accumulated 6787 while Team Mattoni (6845) and Team Skupina (6673) were third and fourth respectively.  

His team consisted of Moira Stewartova, Willy Canchanya, Samuel Wanjiku, Joseph Kiboit and Guteni Shone.

In the women's category, another Kapsabet-based athlete Rionoripo pulled out of the group of about eight athletes after the 28km mark leading all the way to the tape clocking 2:20:14.

Ethiopia’s Shone Guteni came in second in 2:21:46 while Kenya’s Valary Aiyabei sealed the podium in 2:22:39.

Rionoripo said she enjoyed the race and was happy to have pulled out early to go for the victory.

“It was a little bit windy but I’m happy I managed to win the race and it feels nice after a long break due to the pandemic which had halted sports,” said Rionoripo. 

Prague Marathon, which is traditionally held on this date, was postponed due to global logistical problems brought about by coronavirus pandemic with organisers opting for the “Battle of the Teams”. 

Team Birell, who had the highest combined score, took home $32,000 (about Sh3,444,800) first-place prize while Kipruto and Rionoripo pocketed $48,000 (Sh5,167,200) in individual prize money.

Welcome!

You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.