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Africa Takes Over London’s Streets as Kenya Wins Double and Sets New Record at the London Marathon

Kenya took double in the Virgin Money London Marathon held on Sunday 24th in a race superseded by African runners who snatched all top four spots, in the men’s and women’s category.

But it was particularly a phenomenal race for Kenya’s Mary Keitany who clocked the second-fastest time in history.

The 35-year-old Kenyan runner proved that age is just a number after setting a new women’s only world record of 2:17:01 and in the process, taking 41 seconds off Paula Radcliffe’s world record.

Paced by her training partner Caroline Kipkirui, Keitany cut loose from the rest of the group at the ten-mile mark and never looked back.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“I want to thank the pacemaker who was taking me all the way to 14 miles. From there, I started to go alone and see how my body was,”[/perfectpullquote]

Keitany said.

Ethiopia’s Tirunesh Dibaba finished second, 56 seconds behind while Ethiopian team-mate Aselefech Mergia, finished third.

Radcliffe still maintains the overall record of 2:15:25 which she set in the London marathon of 2003 when she was using male runners as pacemakers since the IAAF, recognizes mixed gender and women-only marathons.

Women’s Category

  1. Mary Keitany (KEN) : 2:17:01
  2. Tirunesh Dibaba (ETH) : 2:17:56
  3. Aselefech Mergia (ETH) : 2:23:08
  4. Vivian Cheruiyot (KEN) : 2:23:50
  5. Lisa Weightman (AUS) : 2:25:15
  6. Laura Thweatt (USA) : 2:25:38
  7. Helah Kiprop (KEN) : 2:25:39
  8. Tigist Tufa (ETH) : 2:25:52
  9. Florence Kiplagat (KEN) : 2:26:25
  10. Jessica Trengove (AUS) : 2:27:01



Daniel Wanjiru wins the men’s elite race (Reuters / Matthew Childs)

Daniel Wanjiru finished first in the men’s race, winning his first ever London Marathon in a highly contested race that saw the Kenyan holding off stiff competition from the overwhelming favorite, Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia.

24-year-old Wanjiru finished the race in 2:05:48, nine seconds shy of second-placed Bekele with the former maintaining his pace in the final seconds to beat the 5,000m and 10,000m world record holder, long-distance legend, as well as eight Olympic, and world title winner.

The London win is a significant victory for Wanjiru who previously won the 2016 Amsterdam Marathon

Men’s Category

  1. Daniel Wanjiru (KEN) : 2:05:48
  2. Kenenisa Bekele (ETH) : 2:05:57
  3. Bedan Karoki (KEN) : 2:07:41
  4. Abel Kirui (KEN) : 2:07:45
  5. Alphonce Simbu (TAN) : 2:09:10
  6. Ghirmay Ghebreslassie (ERI) : 2:09:57
  7. Asefa Mengstu (ETH) : 2:10:04
  8. Amanuel Mesel (ERI) : 2:10:44
  9. Javier Guerra (ESP) : 2:10:55
  10. Michael Shelley (AUS) : 2:11:38


The winners of the men’s and women’s categories took home $55,000 for crossing the line first while second-placed in each was awarded $30,000, with third getting $22,500, and fourth $15,000.

Another $100,000 was put down for any runner in the men’s race who ran a sub-2:05:00 time, and to any runner who beat 2:18:00 in the women’s race.

An additional $25,000 was put forward for any competitor who won the race in a course record time (2:03:05 for the men, 2:17:42 for the women).



Featured photo: Getty Images

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