Wilson Kipsang, Edna Kiplagat win London Marathon titles

World record holder Wilson Kipsang won the London Marathon on Sunday, finishing in a course record time of 2:04:27. Stanley Biwott finished second with a personal best of 2:04:55 while Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia finished third in 2:06:30.

In the women’s event, double World champion Edna Kiplagat finally exorcised the demons that saw her playing second fiddle in the last three years to win in 2:20:19. Florence Kiplagat, who broke the World Half Marathon record two months ago settled for second in 2:20:22 with multiple World and Olympic champion Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia, making her debut over the distance, finishing third on 2:20:33.

The two Kiplagats broke away from Dibaba with less than seven kilometres to go before Edna decided to go for victory at the homestretch bend.

Before leaving for London, Edna Kiplagat had promised to stop playing second fiddle. “I have done everything possible including skipping any races this year to focus on London,” said Edna, whose last race was the New York Marathon on November 3 where she finished ninth in 2:30:04, almost five minutes behind winner Priscah Jeptoo (2:25:07).

Edna Kiplagat, who made history by becoming the first woman to retain the marathon world title when she claimed the first gold medal of the 2013 Moscow World Championships, led Kenya’s assault with defending champion Jeptoo and Florence Kiplagat in London.

“My body has been responding well and I am going for victory with an improved personal best time,” said the 34-year-old, who finished runner-up to Mary Keitany at the 2012 London Marathon but in a personal best of 2:19:50.

Last year, Edna Kiplagat also finished runner-up in 2:21:32 as Jeptoo won in a personal best time of 2:20:15.

In 2011, Edna Kiplagat finished third in 2:20:46 behind winner Keitany (2:19:19) and Russian Liliya Shobukhova (2:20:15). “Victory will be pegged on the person who trained well and how the body will respond on the day,” she said.

Florence Kiplagat broke World Half Marathon record in February this year by a significant margin at the Barcelona Half Marathon in February 2014, running 1:05:12, beating Keitany’s old mark by 38 seconds. She also took the world record for the 20 km distance as well with a time of 1:01:56.

However, Florence Kiplagat’s marathon debut came at the 2011 Berlin Marathon where she triumphed in personal best in 2:19:44, the third fastest run by a woman that year.-nation.co.ke

Wilson Kipsang of Kenya crosses the line to win the men's race in the 2014 London Marathon on The Mall in central London on April 13, 2014. PHOTO | LEON NEAL

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