Eliud Kipchoge wins London Marathon after dramatic finish with compatriot Wilson Kipsang
Published 26/04/2015 | 13:12
Eliud Kipchoge won a titanic tussle with fellow Kenyan Wilson Kipsang to end his compatriot's reign as Virgin Money London Marathon champion on Sunday.
The former world 5,000 metres champion broke away from two-time winner Kipsang in the final 800 metres, having two miles earlier left world record holder Dennis Kimetto in his wake.
The 30-year-old, who has moved up to the marathon following a track career which brought him global gold in Paris in 2003, was taking on the three fastest men of all time over 26.2 miles, but looked relaxed as his rivals faded before he crossed the line in two hours four minutes 42 seconds.
He had built a big enough lead to allow him to celebrate as he came down The Mall, pointing to the crowds lining the road as he came home five seconds ahead of Kipsang.
Kimetto was third, finishing some way back in 2hrs 5mins 50secs, to complete a Kenyan clean sweep.
This race featured perhaps the toughest fields ever assembled and, after a blistering early pace, it turned into a four-way shoot-out between four Kenyans, with Stanley Biwott also in the mix until the closing stages.
Racing under overcast skies, Kipchoge and Kipsang were the ones to make a move, pulling clear around the 24-mile mark and opening up an unassailable gap.
The pair were neck and neck down the Embankment, but at the finish it was the former track man who had the strength as he added the London title to the marathons in Rotterdam and Chicago he won last year.
Kipchoge said: "It was a tough race. My training paid off and it went to plan. The crowd were wonderful and lifted me for my sprint finish."
Meanwhile, A smiling Paula Radcliffe brought the curtain down on her glorious career on Sunday as she raced the Virgin Money London Marathon for a final time.
The 41-year-old returned to the scene of her greatest triumph - her staggering world record of two hours 15 minutes 25 seconds set on the streets of the capital in 2003 - to bid an emotional farewell to competitive marathon running.
The days of running those sorts of times are over, but the cheers from the crowds lining the streets were as loud for her as any of the champions as she came home in an unofficial time of 2hrs 36mins 55secs.
Ethiopia's Tigist Tufa won the elite women's race at the Virgin Money London Marathon.