Keitany and Wanjiru make it a memorable London Marathon for Kenya
Keitany sets new world record for women only marathons
Kenya’s Mary Keitany celebrates after winning the women’s elite race at the London Marathon. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images
Mary Keitany broke the women only world record en route to her third London Marathon gold medal on Sunday, finishing in a time of 2:17.01 to beat Paula Radcliffe’s time of 2:17.42 set in London in 2005. It was a fine day for Kenya with Daniel Wanjiru holding off a late charge from Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele to win the men’s race in 2:05.48.
Radcliffe still holds the overall women’s record of 2:15.25, which she set in a mixed gender race at the London Marathon in 2003.
The IAAF recognises two marathon world records for women, one for “mixed gender” races and the other for “women only” races.
Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia finished 56 seconds adrift of Keitany in second place, while Aselefech Mergia of Ethiopia was third.
In the men’s race, Bekele, the world record-holder at 5,000m and 10,000m, fought back brilliantly from being distanced by the front group just after the halfway mark but could not overhaul Wanjiru, who won by nine seconds in his first appearance at the race.
Kenyan Bedan Karoki finished one minute 53 seconds down in third on his marathon debut.
Bekele, 34, hoped to break the world record and had been on schedule after 13 miles, but the pace slowed significantly in the second half of the race.