KIMbia’s Okari Wins Three Races in a Row

By Jörg Wenig

There was more success for KIMbia, the athletics group supported by Uta, in recent weeks. Gilbert Okari emerged as the runner of the summer on the US road running circuit. The Kenyan last week won his third big road race in a row when he took the Bix 7.

Gilbert Okari raced to yet another great win on the US road running circuit. The Kenyan took the Bix 7 at Davenport (Iowa) on Saturday (30th July) in convincing style. When winning the 7-mile race with 32:24 minutes he stopped John Korir’s unbeaten run this year. His training partner from Kenya was second in 32:49. Gilbert Okari meanwhile started his own winning series. He has now won three big races in a row. Meanwhile Sammy Kipketer placed third with 13:09.16 minutes in the 5,000 meters of the IAAF Golden League Meeting in Oslo on 29th July.

Initially, it had been John Korir who took the lead. Five runners followed him, among them was Gilbert Okari. The 26-year-old then started pushing the pace in the second half of the race. He pulled away from the others and constantly looked well in control. At the end, he had a big advantage of 25 seconds. “I ran my race, but I had expected the others to run with me. So in the end, I was just running against time,” Gilbert Okari explained. Having missed John Korir’s course record by 32 seconds Gilbert Okari said: “I could have run faster if I would have been pushed.”

For John Korir defeat did not come as a big surprise. Having had visa problems in recent weeks he finally was able to come back to the US from Kenya. “The problems affected me. I was not strong enough today,” John Korir said. Still he did not expect Gilbert Okari to be that fast. John Korir, who had won the Bix 7 five times in recent years, had won all his five races in 2005.

On 10th July Gilbert Okari had clocked 43:22 minutes at the Utica Boilermaker 15K to win this race. And only six days earlier the 26-year-old had taken the prestigious Peachtree in Atlanta (4th July). Gilbert Okari, who had already won the Bay to Breakers in San Francisco in May, clocked 28:19 minutes in this 10K event with 55,000 participants. He had a six second advantage to Fabiano Joseph (Tansania).

Meanwhile Bob Tahri is well prepared for the World Championships starting this Saturday in Helsinki. He confirmed his recent good form in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the Golden League Meeting in Rome on 8th July. The Frenchman finished fifth in 8:09.58 minutes.