Naigambo fares poorly at IAAF Championship

Windhoek: Namibia’s veteran long distance runner, Beata Naigambo, yesterday delivered one of her poorest performances yet, finishing outside the top 50 in the women’s marathon race at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships at the Beijing National Stadium in China.

Naigambo appeared to start off well in the 42 km race and managed to keep up with the leading pack of athletes, but her incredible pace started to decline almost halfway through the race as she slowly started fading away from the front pack of athletes, which eventually saw her finishing outside the top 50, in 55th place to be precise.

The grueling 42 km marathon was won by Ethiopian Mare Dibaba, who crossed the line in 2-hours, 27-minutes and 35-seconds (2:27:35), leaving Kenya’s Helah Kiprop in 2nd place with a time of 2:27:36. Bahrain’s Kenyan-born Eunice Kirwa clocked 2:27:39 to finish in 3rd place. Dibaba became the first Ethiopian female to win the lung-sapping event at the IAAF world championships.

At major events, Naigambo previously represented Namibia at the 2012 London Summer Olympics where she finished 38th out of 107 participants with a time of 2:31:16, while at the 2008 Summer Olympics – also in China – she managed to finish 28th out of 81 participants in the women’s marathon (2:33:29). At the Dubai Marathon in 2013, Naigambo set a personal best time of 2:27:54 after finishing 9th in a hugely competitive field of world-class runners.

With the World Championships having officially concluded yesterday, Kenya topped the medal table for the first time, followed by Jamaica and the United States of America in 2nd and 3rd places.