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Sunday 11 December 2016

Kipchoge leads home Kenya top four to win London crown

Published 27/04/2015 | 02:30

Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya celebrates after winning the Men's race during the Virgin Money London Marathon
Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya celebrates after winning the Men's race during the Virgin Money London Marathon

Eliud Kipchoge won the London Marathon for the first time yesterday, leading home a Kenyan top four ahead of defending champion Wilson Kipsang.

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Kipchoge, a former world 5,000-meter champion, completed the 26.2 mile route in 2 hours, 4 minutes, 42 seconds in overcast conditions.

"It was a tough race," said the 30-year-old Kipchoge, who won the Chicago and Rotterdam marathons last year. "My training paid off and it went to plan. The crowd were wonderful and lifted me for my sprint finish."

Kipchoge broke clear of Kipsang in the final 800m before waving and pointing at the crowd as he finished five seconds in front of his compatriot.

Tigist Tufa became only the second Ethiopian woman to win in London in 2 hours, 23 minutes, 22 seconds, with two-time winner Mary Keitany of Kenya 18 seconds adrift.

Running with the masses rather than the elite field was three-time winner Paula Radcliffe, who completed what could be her final marathon in an unofficial time of 2:36.55.

Leitrim native Breege Connolly, who runs for North Belfast Harriers, became the second Irish marathon runner, and the first woman, to meet the 2016 Olympic qualifying standard.

The women's standard is 2:42 and she was well inside it with a lifetime best of 2:37.29, a time that knocked two minutes off her previous best.

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