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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 25 June 2018

London Marathon: Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge wins third title

Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya wins women's race for the first time

Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge approaches the finish line to win the men's elite race. Reuters / Paul Childs
Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge approaches the finish line to win the men's elite race. Reuters / Paul Childs

Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge saw off the challenge of Tola Kitata and home favourite Mo Farah to win his third London marathon title in testing warm conditions on Sunday.

Mr Kipchoge posted a time of 2 hrs 4 min 27 sec to finish more than half a minute in front of Ethiopia's Kitata (2:05:00). He raced out of the start, with the leading group registering a blistering opening mile of four minutes 22 seconds, but the Kenyan could not maintain that pace as temperatures rose to more than 20 degrees Celsius.

Having taken a break from the London Marathon last year to try to run a sub-two-hour marathon in Italy, Mr Kipchoge returned to add to his 2015 and 2016 titles with ease, two-and-a-half minutes off Dennis Kimmetto’s world record.

Britain's Mo Farah came in third, breaking the 33-year-old British record in 2:06:21.

"I am knackered, the guys just went for it, at world record pace. It was do or die, I went for it and hung in as much as I could," Mr Farah told reporters at the finish line.

"I've got a lot to learn about the marathon but as long as I can keep doing it. I haven't seen my kids in three months and I am excited to see them."

Olympic 5,000-metre champion Vivian Cheruiyot took the women's race, her first victory at a World Major Marathon. She completed the 26.2-mile (42.2-km) course in front of Buckingham Palace in 2 hours, 18 minutes, 30 seconds.

Fellow Kenyan, Brigid Kosgei, was 1 minute, 42 seconds further back. Tadelech Bekele of Ethiopia was third.

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Ms Cheruiyot shocked favourite and fellow Kenyan Mary Keitany but failed to break Paula Radcliffe’s world record as high temperatures took their toll.

Having shot into the lead, Ms Keitany, 36, looked to be on course to break the world record, running 32 seconds quicker than Paula Radcliffe’s 10-mile time, but as the temperature rose her pace tailed off, allowing Cheruiyot to steal in.

Ms Cheruiyot, who won her first marathon in Frankfurt only last October, came out of nowhere to race past Ms Keitany.

While the race began in the southeast London district of Blackheath, the official starter for the later men's race was more than 30 miles (48 km) to the west of the British capital. Queen Elizabeth II pushed the start button in front of Windsor Castle.

There was a home success with David Weir winning the men's wheelchair race for an eighth time after a sprint finish.

The 38-year-old Mr Weir clocked 1:31:15 to beat Marcel Hug of Switzerland into second place, while Daniel Romanchuk of the US was third.

Madison de Rozario of Australia won the women's wheelchair race for the first time ahead of four-time champion Tatyana McFadden, whose fellow American, Susannah Scaroni, was third.

The 40,000 participants had their work cut out for them as temperatures rose to 22C by noon.