Kenyan runners get gold at London Marathon

Kenyan runners Mary Keitany and Daniel Wanjiru win at one of the world's biggest athletics events.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

General view of runners at Westminster during the London marathon.

Kenyan athletes have won gold in both the men’s and women’s races at the London marathon.

Mary Keitany took gold for the ladies, breaking the women's world record, clocking a time of just over 2 hours and 17 minutes.

The 35-year-old, who also has three New York Marathon victories, beat Ethiopian track great Tirunesh Dibaba by almost a minute.

“I tried to push all the time. I’m very happy with the finish time,” Keitany said.Last year’s women’s race winner, Jemima Sumgong of Kenya, did not defend her title after failing a drugs test earlier in the season.

Keitany’s male compatriot Daniel Wanjiru finished his event strongly with a time of just under 2 hours and 6 minutes.

Wanjiru, 24, beat Ethiopian legend Kenenisa Bekele, who recovered from a poor patch mid-race to come roaring back in the final eight miles, but ultimately fell just short.

“I was not feeling (under pressure by) anybody because I was having self-confidence. My expectation was to win because I prepared very well in Kenya and my training went perfect,” Wanjiru said after his victory.

Wrong shoes

Bekele partly blamed his state-of-the-art Nike Zoom Vaporfly Elite shoes for his failure.

The shoes will be worn by Eliud Kipchoge, Lelisa Desisa and Zersenay Tadese in their Nike-backed attempt to run a sub-two-hour marathon in Italy next month.

“I used new shoes. When I was between 15km and 20km, the shoes started blistering my foot. My foot was not in a good position because of the shoes," Bekele told reporters.

“I changed the style to protect my foot more. It was difficult and changing the style affected my balance.

“Because of that I feel a little bit my hamstring. My leg was not responding well. That’s why I slowed the pace. Around 35km, I was feeling better and increased the pace.”

Officials at Nike could not immediately be reached for comment.

Source: 
TRTWorld and agencies