NANJING, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- China's Peng Jianhua cut nearly three minutes off the course record to claim the men's title at the 2020 Nanjing Marathon here on Sunday.
The 23-year-old Peng from Team Jiangxi broke away from a three-man battle in the last five kilometers to cross the finishing line in a time of two hours, eight minutes, and 50 seconds. His winning mark is the third fastest time ever registered by a Chinese runner and also beat the race record of 2:11:44 set by Kenyan Samuel Kiptanui Maswai in 2015.
"My goal for the race is to win. I did not expect to run so fast. I thought I would clock around 2:11," said Peng, who just began to run marathon in 2019 and has only competed in five races before toeing the line in Nanjing.
"I maintained a steady pace today and did not feel as tired as I did in previous races. I guess that's the key to my victory," he added.
Yang Shaohui from Yunnan was six seconds behind Peng to finish second, followed by Asian Games bronze medalist Duo Bujie from Tibet in 2:09:03. Yang's teammate Chen Tianyu clocked 2:09:55 to finish fourth. The top four finishers all improved their personal best results and met the entry standard of 2:11:30 for the Olympic Games in Tokyo next summer, since the Nanjing Marathon has been given the green light by World Athletics to comply with special Olympic qualification requirements.
"My focus will be on the Olympic trials event next year and I hope I can break the national record (2:08:16) in that race," said Peng whose confidence was boosted by his first marathon victory of his career.
The top four finishers in the women's race also met the entry standard of 2:29:30 for the Tokyo Games. Li Dan from Liaoning trimmed more than two minutes off her career best to take the win in 2:26:59. Jin Mingming from Inner Mongolia finished second in 2:27:08, while Lining's Bai Li took the third place in 2:29:10. Pan Yinli of Yunnan was fourth in 2:29:19.