Kipchoge, Cheruiyot win London Marathon titles


Kenya's Vivian Cheruiyot crosses the finish line to win the elite women's race of the 2018 ...
Kenya's Vivian Cheruiyot crosses the finish line to win the elite women's race of the 2018 London Marathon in central London on April 22, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS

In Summary

  • Olympic 5000m champion Vivian Cheruiyot raced to the 2018 London Marathon honours when she uncorked a 2:18:31 Personal Best (PB) under testing warm conditions to become the fourth fastest woman in history
  • The two-time 5000m World champion upstaged pre-race favourite and three-time London winner Mary Keitany to win her first title over the distance, leading Brigid Koskei (2:20:13) to a Kenyan 1-2
  • Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge fended off Ethiopian Tola Kitata the men's field to seal a record-equaling third London title as home favourite Mo Farah sealed the top three places

Olympic 5000m champion Vivian Cheruiyot raced to the 2018 London Marathon honours when she uncorked a 2:18:31 Personal Best (PB) under testing warm conditions to become the fourth fastest woman in history.

The two-time 5000m World champion upstaged pre-race favourite and three-time London winner Mary Keitany to win her first title over the distance, leading Brigid Koskei (2:20:13) to a Kenyan 1-2.

Ethiopia’s Tadelech Bekele completed the podium places in 2:21:30 as Keitany trudged home in fourth-place after diddling herself in her bid to break to break Paula Radcliffe’s 15-year-old world record.

Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge fended off Ethiopian Tola Kitata the men’s field to seal a record-equaling third London title as home favourite Mo Farah sealed the top three places.

 

Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge saw off the challenge of Tola Kitata and home favourite Mo Farah to win his third London marathon title in testing warm conditions on Sunday.

Kipchoge stopped the time in 2:04:17 to finish more than half a minute in front of Kitata (2:05:00), with Farah timing 2:06:32 for the least podium place.

The women set off 45 minutes before their male counterparts with a very fast pace that forced Tirunesh Dibaba to drop back at 15K leaving two-time World Half Marathon Keitany to pursue top honors alone.

Keitany kept a comfortable pace behind the pacemakers crossing the maker in 47.46 minutes 15 seconds ahead of Dibaba who also faced no challenge for second place.

The three-time New York Marathon title holder crossed the half kilometre mark in 1:07.16 with a projected finish of 2:15.42 which was 17 seconds off the intended world record time.

The race favourite slowed down a little when she crossed the 30km mark in 1:37.03 and predicted finish 2:16.31.

Dibaba who was on for second then hobbled off the track at 30K and made attempts to get back into the race at least twice.

It allowed Cheruiyot and Kosgey to gain ground on her and give Kenya hopes for a clean podium sweep.

The pace took a toll on Keitany as she started drifting from the pace-makers after 30K with Cheruiyot 12 seconds behind and quickly gaining on her.

Boldly, Cheruiyot made a strong move past Keitany to take leadership and quickly opening a gap at a comfortable pace. She had ran a more conservative first half of the race coming up from fifth place.

The four-time track World champion Cheruiyot injected some pace as she approached 40K to cruise to a smooth victory.

Kipchoge hatrick

Winner Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge poses after crossing the finish line to win the elite men's race of the 2018 London Marathon in central London on April 22, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS

Kipchoge ran a beautiful race en route to joining Dionicio Ceron and Martin Lel as the only athletes with three London titles.

Their race had started at midday with favourite Kipchoge and defending champion Samuel Wanjiru tucked among a pack of six that broke off early. Four-time Olympic and six-time Farah was way at ninth place.

Mo gained on the leaders as Kipchoge lead a pack past the marker in 28:19 with a predicted finish of 2:01.12.

Kipchoge continued dominating the race to pass the half marathon marker in a world record pace of 1:01.00 threatening Dennis Kimetto world record of 2:02.57.

The men’s race was getting heated as Mo ran shoulder to shoulder with Kipchoge but the pace had slowed down past 25 Km which they crossed in 1:12.30

As Kennisa Bekele, defending Daniel Wanjiru, Abel Kirui and Bedan Karoki dropped behind out of podium places.

Kipchoge put his foot down and injected some pace in the race forcing Mo to loose touch with him as Kitata stuck with the 2016 London Marathon winner like glue as they approached 30km.

Mo who was about 42 seconds behind had lost touch with the duo as Kipchoge effortlessly tried to shake off Kitata cruising past 35km marker in 01:42.33.

The 34 year old Kipchoge started indicating danger for Kitata with a smile as he injected pace and gained 11 seconds over him as they headed for 40km.

Though he was out of the world record time, Kipchoge confidently heading a third title to join the high ranked marathoners passing the 40km marker in 1:57.35 as Mo chased them about 13 seconds behind.

London 2012 Olympics silver and two time World Championships marathon winner Abel Kirui and last year’s London Marathon third finisher Bedan Karoki finished fourth and fifth in 2:06.32 and 2:07.07 respectively.

Track legend Kenneisa Bekele of Ethiopia finished sixth in 2:08.34 as defending champion Daniel Wanjiru settled for eighth place in 2:10.35.

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Story By Charity Wanja
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