Kipchoge leads Kenyan clean sweep; Tufa clinches crown
Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge won the men’s London Marathon while Tigist Tufa became the first Ethiopian female in 14 years to win the women’s race on Sunday. Kipchoge, the 2003 5,000m World Champion in 2003, clocked two hours, four minutes and 41 seconds, five seconds ahead of his compatriot Wilson Kipsang. The 2012 and 2014 winner, Kipsang finished in front of another Kenyan and world record holder Dennis Kimetto.
In the women’s race, 2014 Shanghai Marathon winner Tufa sprinted clear to finish in 2:23:22 and comfortably beat Kenya’s two-time London winner Mary Keitany. Tufa’s compatriot Tirfi Tsegaye was third. The women’s London Marathon had not been won by an Ethiopian since Derartu Tulu in 2001.
Kipchoge led a Kenyan clean sweep of the podium places as he won the men’s title in an unofficial time of 2:04:41. Victory saw Kipchoge add the London title to his wins in last year’s Rotterdam and Chicago marathons. Kipchoge, 30, who went up in distance after his world title success on the track in Paris in 2003, beat a field featuring the three-fastest marathon runners of all-time.
His winning time on Sunday was well outside Kipsang’s London record of 2hrs 04 mins and 29 secs set last year but as he smiled and waved to the crowd down the finishing straight, it was clear that victory meant more to Kipchoge than a fast time. Kipsang’s unofficial time of 2:04:47 would, if confirmed, make him the quickest-ever London runner-up, surpassing Stanley Biwott’s 2:04:55 last year. Kimetto came in third this year in an unofficial time of 2:05:50, with Biwott in fourth place.
In the women’s race, there was a shock win for Tufa as the Ethiopian ended four years of Kenyan domination in London. Tufa, 28, was only the ninth-fastest competitor in the elite women’s field but, following a protracted tactical battle, broke clear from the pack and even had time to wave to the crowd down the finishing straight as she won by some 18 seconds from Kenya’s Mary Keitany in an unofficial time of 2:23: 22.
Keitany, the winner of the race in 2011 and 2012, just did enough to hold off Tufa’s compatriot, Tirfi Tsegaye, in the battle for second place.