Eliud Kipchoge relinquished his London Marathon title in dramatic circumstances after falling off the pace int he final stages of the elite race around St James’ Park, allowed outsider Shura Kitata to clinch a shock victory in a final sprint finish.
Heavy pre-race favourite Kipchoge entered the race with his main opponent, Kenenisa Bekele, withdrawing on Friday due to injury, seemingly leaving the path clear for the Kenyan to claim a fifth London Marathon title in six years.
But at the 22-mile mark, the 35-year-old suddenly grew uncomfortable as Ethiopia’s Kitata hit the front, despite a relatively steady pace allowing a group of nine to battle for the lead.
Kipchoge’s reign as London Marathon champion came to and end as Kitata won a sprint finish to pip Kenyan Vincent Kipchumba to the line.
In the women’s elite race, Kenyan world record holder and defending champion Brigid Kosgei cruised to a dominant victory, overcoming her rivals on an unfamiliar multi-lap course in relentless rain to triumph in two hours, 18.58 minutes.
Running her first marathon since setting the world record of 2:14.04 in Chicago a year ago, Kosgei ran alongside compatriot Ruth Chepngetich until around the 20-mile mark, when she forged clear to open a lead of about 50 metres within a couple of minutes. She then ran strongly for the rest of the race to finish around three minutes clear.
American Sara Hall produced an incredible finish, wiping out a huge deficit over the last few hundred metres to sweep past world champion Chepngetich almost on the line to finish in 2:22.01 to the Kenyan’s 2:22.05.
Source: Read Full Article