I was decisive and focussed, says Kamworor after jaw-dropping conquest
Sunday afternoon was a euphoric day for Kenya’s athletics enthusiasts. By 5pm, many were already glued to their television sets awaiting the mighty test that was about to unfold in the ‘world capital’, New York.
Rightfully so, top guns, Mary Keitany, a three-time winner of the New York Marathon was on parade ready to defend her crown.
On the flip side of the coin, the ambitious 24 year old Geoffrey Kipsang Kamworor, hirtetho known for his Cross Country heroics was on parade too, ready to show the world that he has come of age, ready to compete with the best, in one of the most prestigious races.
At the end of the day, they did not disappoint, as Kamworor ruled the course to bag top honours in 2 hours, 10 minutes and 53 seconds.Though Keitany fell short in her title defence, she still finished heads high, coming second in 2:27. 54, behind winner, American Shalane Flanagan, who crossed the tape in 2:26.53.
With their heroics, an expectant nation burst in joy and euphoria.
Not to be left behind, President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto picked the cue, congratulating the 2015 Beijing World Championships 10,000m silver medallist Kamworor and three- time Virgin Money London Marathon champion Keitany for their achievement.
“Congratulations to Mary Keitany for your gallant effort to finish second. We are truly proud of you,” tweeted Uhuru.
“The nation is proud of you. What a breathtaking magnificent run to lead a 1-2 finish at the #NewYorkMarathon,” his deputy Ruto posted on his official account.
Back to New York, Kipsang tried to sprint past Kamworor near the finish line, but the 24 year old five-time world champion had enough gas left in him to keep a three seconds margin, finishing in emphatic fashion. Their camaraderie at the finish line evoked fond memories and seeing them smile broadly for the cameras was humbling enough.While their act was brave, the fight was gallant, and the flag couldn’t have flown much higher.
The 35 year old Kipsang made a second podium finish this season in 2:10.56 after his conquest in Tokyo Marathon. Ethiopian, Lelisa Desisa finished third in 2:11.32.
“I made a decisive move and I was focusing on the finish line. When I looked at the camera I saw someone was coming and it was Wilson. I had to believe in myself because I was so near to the finish line. I had to do my best to make sure I have won,” Kamworor said
Kamworor now ranks fifth in the Abbott World Marathon Majors Leader Board .He’s tying with compatriots, Olympic and two- time Berlin Marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge, Virgin Money London Marathon title holder Daniel Wanjiru, and Chicago Marathon champion Galen Rupp of America on 25 points.
Keitany, on the other hand, kept on a spirited fight against American Shalane Flanagan who ended her reign at the Apple City. Flanagan ended the 40 year old drought to become the first American woman to win the race since Miki Gorman in 1977.
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