Fiji's Lal takes 'revenge' in men's half marathon

The Fijian half-marathon gold medalist has taken his "revenge" on a rival for beating him to the top spot two days earlier in the 5,000m.

Avikash Lal, 23, finished in a time of 1 hour 12 minutes 6 seconds, and promptly did some press ups at the finish line.

His gold comes after he won silver in the 5,000m men's when rival Tahitian Samuel Aragaw beat him to the finish line earlier in the week.

Aragaw described the Apia waterfront race as "my first hard race ever."

Read more:


PG2019 MenHalfMarathon Web

Avikash Lal celebrates his half marathon gold medal.

He said it was "because of the mental toughness" against Lal, especially following their battle in the 5,000m.

"We know each other. In the 5000m I beat him in the last lap with a sprint finish and he was a little bit... not angry, but you know the feeling. I was really happy, but this time he had his revenge."

Aragaw finished the half marathon in 1:14.23 and Guam's Derek Mandell in 1:15.05 after a pre-dawn start.

Lal described the race as "very slow" in the hot, humid conditions. 

He said he was relaxed at the start, and although his competitors tried "to push" him at the start, he knew he had the right pace to win.

"I've been waiting for this day ever since I lost at the Pacific Games in 2015," he said, referring to his Port Moresby bronze medal where he finished in 1:15.07.

"I'm very happy. I was supposed to win the 10,000m, but I was not confident enough to take the pace. But on Thursday I won the gold medal in the 5km, because I pushed right through, and today I did the same thing. The last 3km I had the gas and I kicked."

In the women's half marathon, Vanuatu's Margaret Kuras won gold, with Solomon Islanders Dianah Matekali and Sharon Firisua taking silver and bronze respectively.