Kipchoge, Cheruiyot celebrate Kenyan double at London Marathon

22 Apr 2018 / 22:05 H.

LONDON: Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge stormed to his third London Marathon title on Sunday to complete an impressive Kenyan double after Vivian Cheruiyot dominated the women's race in warm conditions.
Kipchoge, 33, saw off the challenge of Ethiopia's Tola Shura Kitata and home favourite Mo Farah to win his third race in the British capital in four years in a time of 2hrs 04min 17sec, finishing more than half a minute in front of Kitata (2:04:49), with Farah third (2:06:21).
Cheruiyot, 34, timed her run perfectly to win the women's event in a time of 2hrs 18min 31sec ahead of compatriot Brigid Kosgei (2:20:13), and Ethiopia's Tadelech Bekele (2:21:40).
Kipchoge joined compatriot Martin Lel and Mexican Dionicio Ceron as the only men to win London three times.
After previous victories in 2015 and 2016, Kipchoge took a ninth career win over 42.16km, but missed his two-year-old course record.
"I came to London to run a beautiful race and today I ran a really beautiful race," said Kipchoge. "Thank you, London."
The Kenyan led the way with Ethiopian great Kenenisa Bekele and last year's winner Daniel Wanjiru of Kenya also in the mix.
Farah was at the back of the lead group despite twice making a mess of picking up his water bottle at the designated drink stations.
The British track great, who won gold in the 5,000m and 10,000m in the past two Olympic Games, admitted his second full marathon had taken its toll in a race where there was a world record pace at the halfway point.
"I am knackered," said the 35-year-old, who broke the British marathon record.
"The guys went for it, they were on for world record pace, so it was do or die. I went with it and hung in as much as I could.
"It's so different to the track. It's incredible. It's different pain, different training but I've really enjoyed it. I gave it all, 110% as I normally do."
Cheruiyot took advantage of failed attempts to break Paula Radcliffe's 15-year-old world record by last year's winner Mary Keitany and runner-up Tirunesh Dibaba.
In unusually warm conditions, first Dibaba and then Keitany dropped off the pace, allowing the 2016 Olympic 5,000m gold medallist to claim victory.
After 14.48km Keitany and main rival Dibaba were 25 seconds ahead of Radcliffe's time. But Dibaba was soon reduced to a walking pace to leave Keitany with only her two male pacemakers for company.
Keitany, looking for a fourth win in London, also started to slow down as it became apparent Radcliffe's record of two hours 15 minutes 25 seconds would not be threatened.
Britain's David Weir won the men's wheelchair race for the eighth time after a thrilling sprint finish.
The 38-year-old pipped Switzerland's Marcel Hug into second place, with Daniel Romanchuk of the United States third. — AFP

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