Kirui, Kiplagat relinquish Boston Marathon titles

Under horrible running conditions, the Kenyan duo of Geoffrey Kirui and Edna Kiplagat failed to defend their Boston Marathon titles on Monday with Kirui finishing second while Kiplagat was eighth in the women’s race.

Yuki Kawauchi became the first Japanese to win the elite men’s race in 31 years while USA’s Desiree Linden became the first American to win the race since 1985 when she stormed to victory in the women’s race.

Kenya looked on course to earning a double in both the men and women races, but a change in fortunes over the last seven kilometres saw the tables turned. Japan’s Kawauchi passed Kirui in the final 5km to storm to victory in 2:15:58 while Kirui clocked 2:18:21 at second place.

Kirui had taken charge of the race from the mid mark, putting in some superb pace. It had proved to be a difficult race with the heavy rainfall, strong winds and sub-zero temperatures but Kirui looked to have weathered the storm, literally.

However, his energy waned away in the final few kilometers of the race allowing Kawauchi who had been in the leading pack the entire race to bolt upfront and win. No other Kenyan made it into the top 10.

Kenyan-turned American Shadrack Biwott came home third in 2:18:32. Three other Americans, Tyler Pennel, Andrew Bumbalough, Scott Smith came in over fourth, fifth and sixth.

In the women’s race, Kenya missed out on the podium with seven Americans being inside the top 10. Kenya’s Gladys Chesir seemed to have picked a title position after going past erstwhile leader Ethiopia’s Mamitu Daska, but she barely enjoyed the lead before the American powered past her.

She went on to win in 2:39:54 while fellow American Sarah Sellers came in second clocking 2:44:05. Canadian Krista Duchene came in third in 2:44:20. Rachel Hyland, Nicole Dimerccurio, Shalane Flanagan and Kimi reed crossed the line at fourth to sixth before Kiplagat finished in 2:47:14.

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