Saturday 21 October 2017

Kenya's Mary Keitany breaks world record in women's London Marathon win

Kenya's Mary Keitany celebrates after winning the women's elite race at the London marathon on April 23, 2017 in London.
Kenya's Mary Keitany won a third London Marathon today posting an unofficial time of 2hrs 17min 01sec -- the fastest time in a women-only marathon. / AFP PHOTO / Adrian DENNIS
Kenya's Mary Keitany celebrates after winning the women's elite race at the London marathon on April 23, 2017 in London. Kenya's Mary Keitany won a third London Marathon today posting an unofficial time of 2hrs 17min 01sec -- the fastest time in a women-only marathon. / AFP PHOTO / Adrian DENNIS

Nick Mashiter

Kenya's Mary Keitany set a new world record to win the women's London Marathon as Daniel Wanjiru took victory in the men's race.

Earlier, Britain's David Weir won a record seventh wheelchair title to clinch his first victory in London since 2012.

Keitany broke Paula Radcliffe's 12-year women's only marathon record to post two hours 17 minutes and one second.

In the men's race Kenyan Wanjiru held off the challenge of Kenenisa Bekele, who holds the 5,000 metres and 10,000 metres world records as well as eight Olympic and world titles, to win.

It was the biggest victory of his career, having previously won the 2016 Amsterdam Marathon.

In the wheelchair race Weir clinched victory on Sunday in one hour 31 minutes and six seconds after a sprint finish to beat defending champion Marcel Hug by just a second.

Weir, taking part for an 18th consecutive year, won the Paris Marathon earlier this month and followed it with success in his home race.

Rafael Botello Jimenez was third after a dramatic finish on The Mall as Weir passed Tanni Grey-Thompson's six victories.

Six-time Paralympic champion Weir had hinted he was ready to postpone retirement to continue to focus on road racing after he walked away from Team GB following last year's disappointing Paralympics.

Soon after Weir's victory Keitany crossed the line, having broken away from the pack after just five kilometres.

She also set a new course record as she beat Radcliffe's previous women's only record of two hours 17 minutes and 42 seconds, set at the London Marathon in 2005.

Radcliffe still holds the women's world record of 2:15.25, set at the London Marathon in 2003 when she ran against men and women.

Keitany beat Ethiopia's Tirunesh Dibaba, who finished second, after Dibaba began to struggle on the Embankment, even stopping at one point as she appeared to clutch her stomach. Ethiopia's Aselefech Mergia finished third.

Alyson Dixon was the first British runner across the line, finishing 12th, to seal her spot in GB's squad for the summer's World Championships as five-time Olympian Jo Pavey dropped out after 16 miles.

In the women's wheelchair race Switzerland's Manuela Schar took the title for the first time.

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