In his first London Marathon win, Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge edged past his countryman and defending champ Wilson Kipsang to win the distance race by five seconds, with a final time of 2:04:47. Fellow Kenyans, including the world-record holder, rounded out the third and fourth spots.
“In a tight finale, Kipchoge broke clear of Kipsang in the final 800 meters before waving and pointing at the crowd in front of Buckingham Palace as he finished five seconds in front of his compatriot.
“Kipsang still holds the course record of 2:04:29, which he set last year.”
“It was a tough race. My training paid off and it went to plan,” Kipchoge told reporters. “The crowd were wonderful and lifted me for my sprint finish.”
“The narrow, twisting turns of London’s course, compounded by blustery conditions, were not conducive to world record pace and an assault on [Dennis] Kimetto’s 2:02.57 set in September’s Berlin marathon was unlikely. …
“Kipchoge and Kipsang made their break along the banks of the River Thames and as the pair geared up for a sprint finish it was Kipchoge who opened up a narrow gap in the final kilometer and Kipsang was unable to reel him in.”
And ESPN notes:
“[While] Kenya dominated the men’s race, a four-year winning streak for the East African nation ended in the women’s event. Tigist Tufa became only the second Ethiopian woman to win in London, emulating Derartu Tulu’s triumph in 2001.
“The 28-year-old Tufa won her first major marathon in 2 hours, 23 minutes, 22 seconds, with two-time winner Mary Keitany of Kenya 18 seconds adrift. Tufa’s compatriot, Tirfi Tsegaye, was third.”