Sunday, April 21, 2013

Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia wins men’s London Marathon amid tight security

(Apr 21, 2013, The Globe and Mail))--Tsegaye Kebede claimed a second London Marathon title on Sunday, cheered through the streets by thousands of spectators reassured by enhanced security at the first major race since the twin bombings at the Boston event.

A race that started with tributes to the Boston victims with a moment of silence ended with a thrilling conclusion under clear blue skies. With a black ribbon pinned to his chest, Kebede chased down Emmanuel Mutai in the closing stages, and overtook the tiring Kenyan to cross the line first in front of Buckingham Palace.

Kebede clocked 2 hours, 6 minutes and 15 seconds to emulate his 2010 triumph in London, while compatriot Ayele Abshero was third. The victory in the British capital came after Kebede was denied a shot at glory here at the Olympics last year after being overlooked by Ethiopian selectors.

The women’s race saw Olympic silver medallist Priscah Jeptoo go one better in the annual London race. The Kenyan cruised over the line in 2:20:15 seconds, the fastest time this year, ahead of compatriot Edna Kiplagat, while Yukiko Akaba of Japan was third. “Today I’m very, very happy, I couldn’t believe I could be the winner,” Jeptoo told the BBC. “It is a very tough race because everybody who comes here is really prepared.”

It was a miserable day for Olympic champion Tiki Gelana, who finished 16th after seeing her hopes thwarted by a collision about a third of the way in. The Ethiopian collided with Canadian wheelchair racer Josh Cassidy as she went to get a drink. Read more from The Globe and Mail »

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