International Athletics

Kenyan duo triumph at Chicago Marathon

2015-10-11 18:58

Chicago - Dickson Chumba captured the Chicago Marathon men's title, leading a Kenyan sweep of the top three podium spots on Sunday.

Chumba crossed the finish line in 2hr 09min 25sec to beat Sammy Kitwara (2:09.50) in a race that featured slower times than usual after organizers decided not to include pace-setters.

Sammy Ndungu (2:10.06) claimed the bronze, outsprinting Ethiopia's Girmay Birhanu Gebru (2:10.07) down the stretch for the final podium position.

Kenya's Florence Kiplagat won the women's title in a time of 2:23.33 as athletes from the East African distance running powerhouses dominated both elite fields.

Chumba's time was five minutes slower than Eliud Kipchoge's winning time last year at 2:04.11. The world record stands at 2:02.57.

The decision to drop the pace-setters made for a slower race but was done to try and combat doping in the sport.

Rita Jeptoo, a three-time women's winner of the Boston Marathon and two-time winner in Chicago, is the biggest name in Kenyan athletics to be swept up in the doping scandal that has cast a shadow over the distance running community.

Despite a slower time on Sunday, Chumba, who finished third in Chicago last year in 2:04.32 improved his podium position by two spots.

He has been one of the most consistent runners over the last year, winning the Tokyo Marathon in 2014 and finishing third there earlier this year.

In his last unpaced major marathon, he finished seventh (2:14.08) at 2013 in Boston.

Pre-race favourite Kitwara had been hoping to finally reach the top of podium after finishing fourth in 2012, third in 2013 and second in 2014.

Kiplagat, who placed second behind Jeptoo last year, still had enough energy after completing the 26.2-mile course to celebrate her victory with several quick leaps for joy in the finish area.

Ethiopia's Yebrgual Melese finished second in 2:23.43 while Birhane Dibaba of Ethiopia placed third in 2:24.24.

Read more on:    athletics

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