Kenya Sweeps Podium At London Marathon

Eliud Kipchoge led a Kenyan clean sweep of the podium places as he won the men’s London Marathon on Sunday in a time of two hours, four minutes and 41 seconds.

Eliud Kipchoge crosses the finish line to win the men's 2015 London Marathon on April 26, 2015. PHOTO | SEAN DEMPSEY

Eliud Kipchoge crosses the finish line to win the men’s 2015 London Marathon on April 26, 2015. PHOTO | SEAN DEMPSEY | AFP

The final mile saw Kipchoge, the Chicago Marathon champion, sprint clear of defending London Marathon champion Wilson Kipsang who was eying his third win after victories in 2012 and 2014 and recorded a time of 2:04:46.

World record-holder Dennis Kimetto finished third with a time of 2:05:50.

Stanley Biwott finished fourth.

Kipchoge is the 11th Kenyan to win the London Marathon.

Having won eight medals for Kenya from major international events including the 2003 World 5,000m title and silver at the 2008 Olympics, Kipchoge demonstrated a perfect transition to the longer distance at the 2013 Hamburg Marathon.

Kipchoge clocked 2:05:30 on his debut to win the race, beating the field by over two minutes and setting a new course record.

Kipchoge would then take on his first major race at the 2013 Berlin Marathon, hoping to improve his 2:05:30 personal best from the Hamburg Marathon.

However, despite finishing second in 2:04:05, it was his personal best besides being the fifth fastest time in history, behind Wilson Kipsang, who set a new Marathon World Record.

Come 2014, Kipchoge hit the road strongly, chalking an impressive win at the Rotterdam Marathon with 2:05:00 before claiming his third victory in Chicago.

Kipchoge broke away from Sammy Kitwara and Dickson Chumba at the 25th mile and never looked back en route to his first major marathon victory. His time of 2:04:11 is the third fastest ever in Chicago, 26 seconds shy of Kimetto’s course record of 2:03:45 from the previous year.

LOST TITLE

In the women’s race, despite having what was described as a fantastic four, Kenya lost the title to Ethiopia’s Tigist Tufa on Sunday.

The 28-year-old Tufa, winner of last year’s Shanghai Marathon, clocked 2:23:22 to beat the two-times champion Mary Keitany to second place in 2:23:40.

Another Ethiopian, Tirfi Tsegaye, finished third in 2:23:41.

Keitany, who won the London Marathon in 2011 and 2012, held off Tsegaye in a hard-fought battle for second place but both runners were unable to respond to the late surge of Tufa.

Other Kenyans who were tipped to perform well in the race were defending champion Edna Kiplagat, Priscah Jeptoo, who won in 2013 and Berlin Marathon winner Florence Kiplagat.

– Daily Nation