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Kiptum and Hassan triumph in astounding London Marathon

Kiptum and Hassan triumph in astounding London Marathon

MARATHON: Kenya’s Kelvin Kiptum won the men’s London Marathon race in the second-fastest time in history on Sunday (Apr 23), breaking the course record with an astonishing time of 2 hours, 1 minute and 27 seconds.


Tuesday 25 April 2023, 08:30AM

Having broken clear of the field, 23-year-old Kiptum - who ran the third-fastest marathon time in Valencia in December - faded towards the finish and missed out on Eliud Kipchoge’s world record by 18 seconds.

Geoffrey Kamworor made it a Kenyan one-two, finishing second in 2:04:23, with Ethiopia’s Tamirat Tola third in 2:04:59.

“I am so happy with the result,” Kiptum told the BBC. “I don’t know what to say right now, I am just grateful!

“The course felt good. There was a bit of rain around halfway but it was OK.

“I enjoy doing the marathons... I am very happy,” he added.

Commentating for the BBC, the 1983 1500 metre world champion Steve Cram said: “We have never seen anything like this before on the streets of London and Kelvin Kiptum has put in the performance of his life.

“He blew the field apart.”

Debut delight

Sifan Hassan staged a remarkable rally to win the women’s race, the first for the Olympic track champion over the distance.

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It looked as if Hassan’s debut marathon would end in disappointment when the 5,000 and 10,000 metres Olympic gold medallist from the COVID-delayed 2020 Tokyo Games was dropped from the leading group and left holding her side after the hour mark.

It would have been impressive enough had the Ethiopian-born Dutch runner, a Muslim who had been fasting due to Ramadan, just completed the course on the rainswept streets of the British capital, with Hassan then grabbing her hip and stopping to stretch off the injury.

Hassan, however, recovered to rejoin the leaders with three miles to go.

Despite making a mess of collecting a drink from a water station and almost being hit by a race motorcycle, the 30-year-old recovered and even offered rival Yalemzerf Yehualaw, last year’s winner, a swig from her bottle.

Hassan, 30, then burst clear in a sprint finish to win in a time of 2 hours, 18 minutes and 33 seconds.

“It was just amazing. I never thought I would finish a marathon and here I am winning it!” Hassan told the BBC.

Hassan, 28 seconds behind the leaders at the 25km (15.5 miles) mark, added: “I can’t believe it. I was going to stop at 25km.”

Ethiopia’s Alemu Megertu was second in 2:18:37, with Kenya’s Peres Jepchirchir, the Olympic champion, third in 2:18:38.

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