Mary Keitany produced an extraordinary display of frontrunning to win her third London marathon title – and set the fastest “women only” time in history.
The 35-year-old Kenyan broke from the field after the first mile and, while her stride shortened and the pain etched on her faced grew towards the end, she always looked comfortable of victory. Her final time of 2hr 17min 01sec was the second fastest in history. Only Paula Radcliffe, whose outright world best of 2:15:25 in the 2003 London marathon was set with the help of male pacemakers, has ever gone faster.
In the men’s race Daniel Wanjuri made it a Kenyan one-two by holding off the challenge of the Ethiopian great Kenenisa Bekele to win in 2:05:48.
Bekele had been favourite for the race and looked comfortable until halfway, where he dramatically dropped back after appearing to get a stitch. The 21-year-old Wanjuri – no relation to the his late compatriot Sammy, the 2008 Olympic champion – stayed with a lead pack of four until 21 miles before striking clear. He looked set for a comfortable victory until Bekele suddenly picked up and started carving through the field.
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