Kiptam remembered for Kenya’s double London Marathon win | Athletics News

On an emotional day at the London Marathon, Kenya’s Perez Jepchirchir and Alexander Mutiso Munyao won the elite men’s and women’s races.

Olympic champion Perez Jepchirchir won the London Marathon with a new women’s world record, while Alexander Mutiso Munyao won the men’s race, making it Kenya’s double crown.

Before the start of Sunday’s race, there was a 30-second round of applause for 2023 men’s race winner Kelvin Kiptum, who died in a car accident in February.

An emotional day ended with Jepchirchir in particular laying down a marker ahead of his title defense at the Paris Olympics.

The field for the women’s race was considered one of the best of all time, with three of the four best women’s races in history competing.

The 30-year-old Kenyan returned home ahead of world record holders Tigst Assefa and Joycilin Jepkosgei, breaking the record without a male pacemaker.

Jepchirchir’s time of 2:16:16 broke the women’s course record of 2:17:01 set by compatriot Mary Keitany in 2017.

“I didn’t expect to set a world record,” Jepchirchir said. “I thought I might lose, but I never thought it would be me.

“I’m really happy and grateful to have qualified for the Olympics. I’m happy to be in Paris and I wish you all the best.”[er] Just be there to defend the title and run well. I know it won’t be easy, but I’ll do my best. ”

Kenya’s Perez Jepchirchir crosses the finish line to win the women’s elite race [Matthew Childs/Reuters]

In the men’s race, Munyao gave Kenya another win on a day when the London Marathon commemorates last year’s champion Kiptum, who died in a car accident in Kenya in February.

Kiptam’s compatriot and friend ran alone down the final straight in front of Buckingham Palace to score an impressive victory in his first major marathon.

Speaking to Kiptum after his victory in London last year, Mutiso Munyao said the world record holder was always on his mind during the competition.

“I always remember him because he was a great friend of mine,” Mutiso Munyao said. “It was a good day for me.”

Athletics - London Marathon - London, UK - April 21, 2024 Panoramic view of the moment of applause in honor of former Kenyan runner Kelvin Kiptum before the start of the men's elite race REUTERS/John Sibley
There was a moment of applause in honor of Kenya’s Kelvin Kiptum before the start of the men’s elite race. [John Sibley/Reuters]

Mutiso Munyao denied 41-year-old Kenenisa Bekele his first victory at the 42km (26.2 miles) London Marathon, pulling away from the Ethiopian great with 3km (1.9 miles) to go on Sunday to claim the biggest victory of his career. I got the victory.

Mutiso Munyao and Bekele were locked in a two-way battle for the win until the Kenyan made his move along the Thames and quickly built up a six-second gap, which widened as he raced towards the finish line. There was a battle between three people.

“When my friend Bekele was left behind at 40 kilometers (25 miles).” [behind]I was confident that I could win this race,” said 27-year-old Mutiso Muñao.

He finished in 2 hours 4 minutes and 1 second, with Bekele finishing 14 seconds behind. Britain’s Emil Careless was third, 2 minutes and 45 seconds behind.

Bekele, a former Olympic 10,000m and 5,000m champion from Ethiopia, has never won this race, although he was also runner-up at the 2017 London Games.

Mutiso Munyao is a relative unknown in the marathon world and said he was unsure whether his victory would be enough to earn him a spot on Kenya’s Paris Olympic team.

“We’re hoping for the best,” he said. “If they choose me, I will work for them.”

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