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Kenya’s Sabastian Sawe soars to victory at Prague Half-Marathon

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Kenya’s World Half-Marathon champion, Sabastian Sawe, was at his best on Saturday when he smashed course record with a sensational time of 58 minutes and 24 seconds to win the Prague Half-Marathon in the Czech Republic.

World Athletics report that the Kenyan athlete showed strong resilience to clinch the victory after outpacing a strong competitive field to secure his triumph as well as improving his personal best and setting a new benchmark in the event’s history.

“Sawe, 29, entered the race on the back of a seventh-place finish at the recent World Athletics Cross Country Championships,” World Athletics wrote.

“Despite this, he arrived in Prague with confidence, buoyed by a previous personal best of 58:29 from his victory at the 2022 Bahrain Royal Night Half Marathon.

“His performance in Prague not only surpassed his own expectations but also broke the course record of 58:47 set by Ethiopia’s Atsedu Tsegay.

“The race saw Sawe taking a decisive lead from his compatriots, Geoffrey Toroitich Kipchumba and Patrick Kabirech Mosin, at the 10km mark.

“Kipchumba and Mosin, known for their performances in previous marathons, could not match Sawe’s pace, finishing second and third with times of 60:02 and 60:15 respectively, securing a Kenyan 1-2-3 finish.

Speaking after the race, the excited Sawe said:

“I am absolutely happy that I managed to achieve my personal best and to break the race record as well.

“I had a great run, the course was fast and enjoyable. The fans drove me forward, I didn’t experience any critical moment.

“Prague is a beautiful city. I liked it during my training, but today the beauty of the city got me completely.”

The victory came just a week after Sawe placed seventh in the World Cross Country Championships in Belgrade, Serbia, though he was part of the Kenyan gold medal winning men’s team.

He was tipped to be among among the favorites but fell short as Jacob Kiplimo of Uganda defended his title successfully.

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South African Akani Simbine beats Omanyala to pick 100m gold at Atlanta City Games

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South African sprint sensation, Akani Simbine, on Saturday at the Atlanta City Games further put a dent on Kenyan 100m African record holder Ferdinand Omanyala’s claims of being the continent’s king of sprint by pipping him to the second spot.

The defeat by Simbine meant that Omanyala was handed his second 100m defeat in less than a week.

Omanyala who is Africa’s fastest man at the moment and Commonwealth Games champion has however, insisted that the two successive defeats he has suffered does not take anything away from his position as Africa’s sprint king as he is taking a different approach to his season and has noted that he will only peak when the time is necessary with the main focus being the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

After the heats, Omanyala noted that they shall be keen to take a day at a time and improve on the weak areas

“We are taking it a race at a time and it’s a long season where the main target is the Olympic Games so we are not going to peak too early this time and we are handling each race as it comes and improving on the important areas,” Omanyala said.

At the Atlanta City Games proper, Omanyala had a great start off the blocks and seemed to be in great shape to take the win Simbine had the better chance as his finishing was top notch.

Athletics World reports that
Simbine crossed the finish line in a world leading time of 9.90 while Omanyala came in second in 10.10.

“After the race, Simbine was over the moon and noted how it was important to represent his country with pride and place their name on the world map,” the report said.

“You know I’m representing South Africa and I’m happy with the win and I’m so happy to be out here. I’ve always been part of the conversation. I’ve never left so we’ll see.”

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Egyptian midfielder Elneny announces departure from Arsenal after eight years

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Egypt and Arsenal midfielder, Mohamed Elneny, has announced his departure from the club at the end of this season after eight years at the North London club.

Elneny who made the announcement in a video on Friday, said he will depart the club following the expiration of his contract.

Elneny joined Arsenal from Swiss side Basel in 2016 and made 161 appearances but in the last two seasons, the Egyptian midfielder has struggled for playing time due to a combination of injuries and loss of form.

In 2019, under former manager Unai Emery, he was loaned out to Besiktas for the 2019-20 campaign, where he played 36 times for the Turkish side.

Upon returning to Arsenal, he found a more prominent role under new manager Mikel Arteta.

Elneny’s contract was due to expire at the end of last season, but Arsenal opted to extend it by an additional year. With this extension now coming to an end, it has been widely reported that the 31-year-old will leave the club this summer.

In the video on X, Elneny said:

“Gooners, I’m here today to send you a message. To say goodbye and thank you for everything you’ve done for me, the love, the support, and the kindness. I am really going to miss you so much and you will be in my heart forever.

“I wanted to say how much I love you and how much you mean to me. I will never forget the way you supported me. I am going to see you on Sunday at the Emirates Stadium to say goodbye face to face.”

He added that he would bid farewell to fans at the Emirates on Sunday as Arsenal host Everton in their final league match.

Though Elneny did not say where he would go after leaving Arsenal, it is believed he will be heading to the Saudi Arabian league to join a horde of elite players who have made the Saudi League the new football haven.

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