Kenya in clean sweep at London marathon as Kipchoge and Cheruiyot win

By Juma Pondamali

Kenya made a clean sweep in the London marathon winning both the men and women’s event.

Eliud Kipchoge won the race for a third time while Vivian Cheruiyot won women’s title but failed to break Paula Radcliffe’s ‘mixed-gender’ race world record.

Cheruiyot, 34, crossed the finish line in an personal best two hours, 18 minutes and 31 seconds.

Britain’s Mo Farah finished third at the London Marathon in a new British record as Kenyan

Farah kept pace with the leaders for much of the race but was two minutes and four seconds behind Kipchoge.

He crossed the line in two hours, six minutes and 21 seconds to beat Steve Jones’ 33-year-old British record.

The four-time Olympic champion was competing in his first 26.2-mile race since retiring from the track.

Kipchoge – regarded as one of the greatest marathon runners of all time – was on course for a new world record but slowed in the final stages of a gruelling race in record-high temperatures to finish in 2:04:17.

That was 80 seconds outside the record held by his compatriot Dennis Kimetto.

Ethiopa’s Tola Shura Kitata finished in a surprise second place, 32 seconds behind Kipchoge.

Farah’s only previous marathon was in London in 2014 when he finished eighth.

Mary Keitany and Tirunesh Dibaba had been looking to break Radcliffe’s record but both faded.

Olympic 5,000m champion Cheruiyot ran her first marathon in London last year and finished fourth overall before winning in Frankfurt in October.

Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei (2:20:13) finished second, with Ethiopia’s Tadelech Bekele (2:21:30) third.

He returned this year having given up track racing to focus on the marathon and faced a stellar field including Kipchoge, three-time Olympic gold medallist Kenenisa Bekele and last year’s London Marathon winner Daniel Wanjiru.

He beat both Bekele and Wanjiru and finished 52 seconds inside Jones’ British record, set in 1985.

That was despite confusion at a water bottle station earlier in the race where he missed his drink and turned back on the course to collect a different bottle before being involved in a heated exchange with one of the motorbike safety officers as he made his way back to the front of the race.

“I was saying to the people on motorbikes to tell the staff to be a bit helpful instead of taking pictures,” Farah said afterwards.

“I wasn’t wasting energy, I just needed a drink. I had to get it right.”

Farah also said he was “knackered” after the race and has “a lot to learn about marathons”.

“I really enjoyed today,” he added.

“It’s so different to being on the track, it’s different pain and different training but I’ve enjoyed it.

“You get heavy legs. Mentally you need to be strong and pace yourself.”

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