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Kenyan Abel Kirui rues podium miss at his third London Marathon

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Former two-time world marathon champion Abel Kirui of Kenya expressed his disappointment in missing out on his third attempt to win the London marathon.

Speaking to Xinhua on Monday, Kirui rallied to finish fourth in 2:07:07 on Sunday beating last year’s runner-up Kenenisa Bekele (2:08:53) and reigning champion Daniel Wanjiru (2:10:35) to sixth and eighth respectively.

“I hoped for the podium but I am satisfied with fourth. My time of 2:07:07 was my fastest since 2009,” said Kirui.

The Kenyan had hoped for a podium slot after finishing fourth last year, but again he had to watch as Mo Farah claimed the third slot on the podium leaving him to fight another day.

“I’m happy for Mo Farah who was third on the podium. I will have my chance soon,” he said. The 35-year-old added that he is recovering and will confirm his next race date soon.

In London, Kirui became only fifth man in history to run 14 marathons clocking below the two hours and 10 minutes mark in road running career.

He joins Tsegaye Kebede (18), Emmanuel Mutai (14), Feyisa Lelisa (14) and Jaouad Gharib (14) on the honor list. 



Records fall at this year’s London Marathon

LONDON United Kingdom (Xinhua) -- A total of 40,255 runners completed the London Marathon after record number of participants left the starting line of the London Marathon on Sunday morning.

It is the first time that the London Marathon has registered more than 40,000 finishers during the hottest race day on record, beating last year’s record total by 768 runners.

41,003 runners set off on the 42.195-kilometer journey from east London’s Blackheath to Westminster at 10:00am on Sunday morning. The runners were sent on their way by the Queen, who pushed the event’s red button in front of Windsor Castle as a hooter sounded over the heads of the men’s elite field.

Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya became the first person to finish the race and became only the third three-time men’s champion and cemented his status as the king of the roads. Kipchoge clocked a time of 2:04:17 and the women’s race was won by his compatriot Vivian Cheruiyot who finished with a time of 2:18:31.

There were 34 Guinness world records as runners cautiously braved temperatures of up to 24 degrees Celsius in all manner of fancy dress costumes.

Among them was Rob Pope, who set the record for the fastest marathon in a film costume as he took to the streets of London dressed as Forrest Gump and clocked a near-elite time of 2:36:28.

Women’s running pioneer, 71-year old Kathrine Switzer, completed her first London Marathon with a time of 4:44:49. The oldest runner of all, Samuel Starbrook, 87, was some way back with a time of 8:21:44.


Olympic champion Kipchoge wins third London Marathon title

LONDON United Kingdom (Xinhua) -- Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge won the London Marathon for a third time while his compatriot Vivian Cheruiyot took the women’s race here on Sunday.

Four-time Olympic champion and local favorite Mo Farah, competing in his first marathon after retiring from the track after the 2017 world championships, broke the British record and finished third.

Kipchoge, regarded as one of the greatest marathon runners of all time, beat Ethiopia’s Tola Shura Kitata and Farah to win his third race in four years in two hours four minutes and 17 seconds in record-high temperatures of 23.2 degrees Celsius.

The 33-year-old became the third man after compatriot Martin Lel and Mexican Dionicio Ceron to win the London Marathon three times.

Kitarta was 32 seconds behind for the second and Farah crossed the line in 2:06:21 to beat Steve Jones’ 33-year-old British record.

Cheruiyot, who was expected to beat Paula Radcliffe’s world record, won the women’s title in an personal best 2:18:31, more than three minutes slower than the 2:15:25 four-time British Olympian Radcliffe ran in 2003.

Olympic 5,000m champion Cheruiyot ran her first marathon in London last year and finished fourth overall before winning in Frankfurt in October.

Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei finished second in 2:20:13, with Ethiopia’s Tadelech Bekele third in 2:21:30.



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