Kenya win double in London Marathon

Sun, 17 Apr 16:10:00 2011

Emmanuel Mutai and Mary Keitany completed a Kenyan double in the London marathon while moving into fourth place each on the individual all-time lists.

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Mutai broke compatriot Sammy Wanjiru's men's course record in the Olympic champion's injury-enforced absence with a time of two hours, four minutes and 40 seconds.

He was preceded to the finish line on a warm, sunny, spring morning by world women's half-marathon champion Keitany, who ran the second half of her race on her own to clock 2:19:19.

Keitany, who finished third in her only previous marathon in New York last year, holds four of the 12 fastest half-marathon times.

The pair are only the second Kenyan couple to win the men's and women's title on the same day after Evans Rutto and Margaret Okayo in 2004.

To underline the East Africans' dominance of the world's most prestigious marathon, Kenyans took five of the six podium positions with Russian Liliya Shobukhova the only interloper.

Shobukhova, the defending champion, broke her national record by 10 seconds but her time of 2:20:15 for second place was almost a minute slower than Keitany.

Only world record holder Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia and compatriots Duncan Kibet and James Kwambai are now ahead of Mutai on the men's all-time list. Mutai finished second last year behind Ethiopian Tsegaye Kebede, who was fifth on Sunday, after two fourth-place finishes.

"For me it was a great result," Mutai said. "I became the London champion and I ran the fastest time.

"My target was to win one of the big, major marathons. At 30 kms I saw nobody was moving so I decided to push it hard."

Keitany is in equal fourth place on the women's list with twice London champion Irina Mikitenko of Germany behind Britain's world record holder Paula Radcliffe, Kenyan Catherine Ndereba and Japanese Mizuki Noguchi.

"I was confident," Keitany said. "The course was flat and the surface was good. I thought I could run that fast."

Shobukhova added: "I thought I could catch her but Mary was too fast. She has great speed from the half-marathon."

Officials said 35,303 runners started the race, including 22,837 men and 12,466 women.

Britain's David Weir won the men's wheelchair race for a record fifth time, exactly 500 days before the start of the 2012 Paralympics.

Reuters

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