Cheruiyot, Kipchoge bag Kenyan double in London
Kenya's Vivian Cheruiyot and Eliud Kipchoge won the Women's and Men's 2018 London Marathon respectively
File Photo / Kipchoge
Kenya’s Vivian Cheruiyot and Eliud Kipchoge reigned supreme at the London Marathon on Sunday afternoon, bagging the men’s and women’s titles in hot conditions in the British Capital. Cheruiyot clocked two hours, 18 minutes and 31 seconds, picking her second career Marathon victory to lead a Kenyan 1-2 finish with Brigid Kosgei coming in second.
In the men’s race, Kipchoge managed to shake off Ethiopian Shola Tura in the final two kilometres to win the race to win in a time of two hours, four minutes and 16 seconds as defending champion Daniel Wanjiru finished a distant ninth.
In the women’s race, it seemed like three-time winner Mary Keitany was headed for a huge win, but she seemed to be struggling in the final seven kilometers of the race with Cheruiyot taking advantage to burst to victory. Keitany eventually managed to finish fifth, the early pace burning her out.
Chasing Paul Radcliffe’s 15 year world record, Keitany who ran the fastest ever all-women’s marathon last year showed early intent with Ethiopia’s Tirunesh Dibaba keeping close tabs.
However, with 26km go, the Ethiopian began to tire off as Keitany laid down her marker, injecting some pace. Eventually, Dibaba dropped off the race after momentarily stopping twice.
Keitany went on with the same speed but after the 35km mark, she also began to tire off and eventually Cheruiyot passed her to storm into the finish line unchallenged. Ethiopia’s Tadelech Bekele cut off the possibility of a Kenyan 1-2-3 coming in third in a time of 2:21:30 while Gladys Cherono finished fourth in 2:24:10.
Kipchoge who had been touted to also give a stab at the World Record waited until the 40km mark before he could shake off Ethiopia’s Shola Tura who had stuck to his shadow for almost the entirety of the race.
The Olympic champion shone his smile as he began to tear up the pace in the final bend of the race and when he approached the Buckingham Palace, the last turn with finish line in sight, he stepped on the gas pedals further.
He had been in the lead from the start with the likes of Kenenisa Bekele and Mo Farah attempting but in vain to match his majestic steps. Tura managed to hold on for second spot in a time of 2:05:00 while home boy Farah finished third in a time of 2:06:32. Abel Kirui and Bedan Karoki finished fourth and fifth respectively.