Jubilation welcomed Kenya’s performance during this year’s Virgin London Marathon race after the country’s male team swept the Podium to keep the nation’s tradition of dominating major city marathons in the world.
Training camps where most athletes and athletics fans pitched camp to watch the annual showbiz event burst into unplanned celebrations after former track star Eliud Kipchoge played his cards closer to his chest to out-wit formidable forces during the Sunday race.
In Eldoret and Iten towns, both referred to The City and The Home of Champions, social places were jammed to the brim as enthusiastic fans kept ogling from their seats cheering fellow Kenyans as they ruled the world.
“Great show from our Ambassadors. They are the kings of the World in so far as marathon is concerned. Well done Kicphoge, Kipsang and Kimeto! You all did us proud,” quipped Doctor Moimmet, an Eldoret based herbalist and great fan of athletics.
At Kipchoge’s training hub at the edge of Kaptagat Forest, fellow training mates held their breath for the entire period as they watched one of their own add an additional feather to his decorative athletics career.
“We knew Kipchoge was capable of winning this race. But we kept our fingers crossed as the media piled pressure on the other competitors. This was good for Eliud as they labeled him the Dark Horse. It worked to his advantage,” said Richard Meto, Kipchohe’s coach, as he watched on his charges brazing the tape, narrowly edging out defending champion Wilson Kipsang and world record holder Dennis Kimeto.
Although Kenyans missed the individual title in the women race, Kenyans lauded the spirited fight by all the participants that saw Mary Keitany finished second behind Ethiopian Tufa Tigist.
Other Kenyans, Florence Kiplagat (the World half-marathon record holder), Jemima Sumgon, Priscah Jeptoo, and twice World Champion Ednah Kiplagat finished 5th, 6th, 7th and 11th respectively.
Last year, then World marathon record holder Wilson Kipsang and Stanley Biwott finished first and second while Ednah Kiplagat and Florence Kiplagat (not related) did the same in the women category.
RESULTS FOR THE FIRST 12
1 Kipchoge, Eliud (KEN) 02:04:42
2 Kipsang, Wilson (KEN) 02:04:47
3 Kimetto, Dennis (KEN) 02:05:50
4 Biwott, Stanley (KEN) 02:06:41
5 Regassa, Tilahun (ETH) 02:07:16
6 Kitwara, Samuel (KEN) 02:07:43
7 Guerra, Javier (ESP) 02:09:33
8 Kibrom, Ghebre (ERI) 02:09:36
9 Reunkov, Aleksey (RUS) 02:10:10
10 Lebid, Serhiy (UKR) 02:10:21
11 Mutai, Emmanuel (KEN) 02:10:54
12 Shelley, Michael (AUS) 02:11:19
1 Tufa, Tigist (ETH) 02:23:22
2 Keitany, Mary (KEN) 02:23:40
3 Tsegaye, Tirfi (ETH) 02:23:41
4 Mergia, Aselefech (ETH) 02:23:53
5 Kiplagat, Florence (KEN) 02:24:15
6 Sumgong, Jemima (KEN) 02:24:23
7 Jeptoo, Priscah (KEN) 02:25:01
8 Felix, Ana Dulce (POR) 02:25:15
9 Mazuronak, Volha (BLR) 02:25:36
10 El Moukim, Rkia (MAR) 02:26:33
11 Kiplagat, Edna (KEN) 02:27:16
12 Lewandowska, Iwona (POL) 02:27:47
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