Kenyan female, male athletes win London Marathon

Mary Keitany of Kenya broke Paula Radcliffe’s women’s-only world record to win the London Marathon on Sunday.

The 35-year-old Keitany crossed the finish line on The Mall in 2:17:01, the second-fastest time in history.

That was 41 seconds quicker than four-time British Olympian Radcliffe ran in winning the event in 2005.

Kenyan Daniel Wanjiru, a 24-year-old, won the men’s race in 2:05:56, with Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia second.

Bekele — the 5,000m and 10,000m world record holder — looked to be mounting a challenge in the final stages.

But Wanjiru found enough pace to finish strongly and eventually win by nine seconds.

Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia was the runner-up in the women’s race, clocking a time of 2:17:56.

Speaking after the race, Keitany said: “It was a great day for me. It was really amazing, to run the best time.


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“The weather was good at the beginning, it was nice for me and my pace. I’ve run my best.”

Wanjiru said he felt comfortable running at world-record pace for sections of the race and is still aiming to break Dennis Kimetto’s time of 2:02:57, set in Berlin in 2014.

“In the beginning, the race was very fast and we were inside world record pace. It was the pace I was preparing for,” he said.

“We tried to maintain that pace for half of the race. From there it was becoming tougher and tougher. The sun was coming and the day was beautiful — but we don’t need too much sun!”

In the women’s race, Britain’s Alyson Dixon finished 12th in a personal best of 2:29:06 to secure her place at this summer’s World Championships.

However, Jo Pavey, who needed to finish as one of the top two British women to qualify for August’s championships in London, was forced to retire after about 17 miles.

Earlier, Britain’s six-time Paralympic champion David Weir took victory in the men’s wheelchair race, beating his rival and last year’s winner Marcel Hug in a sprint finish.

Robbie Simpson was the fastest of the elite British men, finishing in 2:15:04, followed by Andrew Davies seven seconds later.

Speaking before the race, Simpson said he needed to go under 2:15.30 to put himself in the frame to represent Scotland at the Commonwealth Games.

Both men have run the required time to secure their places in the British squad for the World Championships.


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