Kenyans on top in London

2011-04-17 13:45

London - Emmanuel Mutai ran the fastest-ever London Marathon as Kenyans took the first three places on Sunday, while compatriot Mary Keitany earned a dominating victory in the women's race at her first attempt.

Mutai finished the 42.2-kilometer (26.2-mile) race in an unofficial time of 2 hours, 4 minutes, 38 seconds - the fourth fastest time for a marathon. He shattered Olympic champion Sammy Wanjiru's old course record of 2:05:10 from 2009.

Three-time champion Martin Lel was second after beating Patrick Makau in a sprint.

Earlier, Keitany became the fourth Kenyan winner of the women's race, finishing in 2:19:17 in her debut - almost a minute ahead of defending champion Liliya Shobukhova.

The 29-year-old world half-marathon record holder, who finished third in her marathon debut in New York last year, clocked an unofficial two hours 19 minutes 17 seconds.

Defending champion Liliya Shobukhova of Russia was second and Edna Kiplagat of Kenya finished third.

Shobukhova headed the leading group at the halfway stage but was unable to respond as Keitany stretched her lead in the second half of the 42.195 km race.

Mutai, 26, was prominent in a tightly bunched leading group tracking the two pacemakers until the 30 km mark when he made his move.

The race quickly resolved into a battle for the minor placings with three times champion Martin Lel outsprinting fellow-Kenyan Patrick Makau to take second place. Both men were given the same time of 2:05:45.

"My dream has come true," Mutai, who finished second last year, said.

"Between 36 and 38 km it was a little difficult but I just tried to push it and in the end I managed it."

Defending champion Liliya Shobukhova headed the leading group in the first half of the women's race but could not respond when Keitany, who has won six successive half-marathons, made the decisive break.

"I didn't surprise myself," Keitany said. "The weather was very nice and I am very happy to have won the marathon today.

Shobukhova was unable to respond, although her time of 1:20:15 broke the Russian record by 10 seconds and is the fastest by a European since Mikitenko's 2:19:19 in Berlin in 2008.

"I am very happy because I broke the record but obviously disappointed to come in second," she said.

Results from the men's and women's London Marathon on 17 April, 2011:


1. Emmanuel Mutai (KEN) 2hrs 04mins 40secs, 2. Martin Lel (KEN) 2:05:45, 3. Patrick Makau (KEN) 2:05:45, 4. Marlison Gomes Dos Santos (BRA) 2:06:34, 5. Tsegaye Kebede (ETH) 2:07:48, 6. Jaouad Gharib (MAR) 2:08:26, 7. Abderrahime Bouramdane (MAR) 2:08:42, 8. Dmitry Safronov (RUS) 2:09:35, 9. Serod Bat-Ochir (MGL) 2:11:35, 10. Mike Shelley (AUS) 2:11:38


1. Mary Keitany (KEN) 2hrs 19mins 19secs, 2. Liliya Shobukhova (RUS) 2:20:15, 3. Edna Kiplagat (KEN) 2:20:46, 4. Bezunesh Bekele (ETH) 2:23:42, 5. Atsede Baysa (ETH) 2:23:50, 6. Yukiko Akaba (JPN) 2:24:09, 7. Irina Mikitenko (GER) 2:24:24, 8. Jessica Augusto (POR) 2:24:33, 9. Aberu Kebede (ETH) 2:24:34, 10. Mariya Konovalova (RUS) 2:25:18