Abdi is hailed the King of Rotterdam

Published 15 Apr 2024

Abdi Nageeye regained the NN Rotterdam Marathon title in a stunning Dutch record time of 2:04:45 as NN Running Team athletes filled four of the six podium positions on offer in the elite men’s and women’s races.

While the 35-year-old Nageeye chipped 11 seconds from his previous national record time set when triumphing on the streets of Rotterdam in 2022, his team-mate Birhanu Legese also impressed to secure third in 2:05:16.

NN Running Team athletes were also to the fore in the women’s race as Kenya duo Viola Kibiwott (2:20:57) and Selly Chepyego (2:22:46) grabbed second and third behind race winner Ashete Bekere (2:19:30) in an highly competitive battle in the Dutch port city.

In the men’s race, the leaders followed a gaggle of pacemakers through 10km in 29:06 before hitting the 15km checkpoint in 43:48.

With Nageeye and Legese prevalent, the lead group dwindled from nine at 20km down to seven at the 30km mark - reached in a time of 1:28:09.

By the time the 35km mark was passed in 1:42:54 – the NN Running duo were in a straight shoot out with Amedework Walelegn of Ethiopia and Kenyan Kenneth Kipkemboi for glory.

Kipkemboi blew a gasket before the 40km mark and was spat out the back before Nageeye, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic marathon silver medallist, made his decisive move. Kicking with conviction, the Dutch athlete accelerated to victory by a five-second margin from Walelegn with Legese, a two-time former Tokyo Marathon champion, also impressing to round out the podium.

NN Running Team athlete Roy Hoornweg of the Netherlands trimmed 19 seconds from his lifetime best, recording 2:13:00 for 21st.

In a high-class women’s race, Chepyego and Kibiwott were part of a lead group that flashed through 10km in 32:42 - a course record pace - before maintaining the tempo through the 20km (1:05:11) and 25km (1:21:23) checkpoints.

Bekere opened up a gap on her rivals before 30km with Kibiwott and Chepyeo locked in a battle for second. The NN Running Team duo passed 35km together before the former moved clear of the latter to hold a near minute advantage from her team-mate at 40km.

Kibiwott, a former Olympic 5000m finalist, maintained her momentum in the final stages to bank an excellent second spot comfortably clear of the experienced Chepyego, who added another podium finish to her CV.

Mohamed Huseyidin clinches second place in Boston

The following day at the Boston Marathon, NN Running Team athletes enjoyed more success as Mohamed Huseyidin produced an exhilarating finish over the final 5km to climb from fifth to second and claim an outstanding podium finish in the men’s race.

Executing a smart tactical race the 23-year-old Ethiopian hit the halfway mark in 1:02:16 – almost two minutes behind the eventual race winner Sisay Lemma.

While Lemma extended his advantage by 20 miles, Mohamed gradually crept into contention and by Heartbreak Hill he was part of a four-strong chasing pack also containing John Korir, Albert Korir and Evans Chebet.

Benefiting from sensible pacing the NN Running Team athlete unleashed a devastating surge in the latter stages to take second in 2:06:58 – 41 second behind race winner Sisay Lemma.

In only his fourth marathon it was another outstanding performance by Mohamed who matched his second place finish at the 2023 Tokyo Marathon.

In the women’s race, NN Running Team athlete Tiruye Mesfin grabbed ninth in 2:24:58 as Kenyan Hellen Obiri led home a Kenyan clean sweep of the podium in 2:22:37.