Kipchoge executes perfect race to win London Marathon
LONDON – Marathons are increasingly being decided by the smallest margins and Sunday’s men’s race in London was no different with Eliud Kipchoge seizing victory with a perfectly executed plan.
Labeled the ‘clash of the champions’ by organizers, the race pitted eight sub-2:05 runners and five of the all-time top-10 in one of the fastest fields ever assembled.
While much of the attention was focused on world record holder Dennis Kimetto, defending champion Wilson Kipsang and Stanley Biwott, it was the powerful Kipchoge whose impeccable timing won the day.
As the four Kenyans sped along the banks of the River Thames at a searing pace, Kipchoge broke from the front and only Kipsang was able to maintain contact.
The pair ran side by side until, in the shadow of Big Ben, Kipchoge made his move.
The former 5,000 meters world champion burst clear and later said his plan had been to keep in touch with the big guns and utilize his explosive kick in the closing stages.
“With five kilometers to go there were still five guys left but the race was good and I felt comfortable,” Kipchoge told reporters. “My training paid off and the race went to plan.
“To only have 500 meters to go and be next to someone like Kipsang shows this is a major competition. The crowd were wonderful and they lifted me for my sprint finish.”
Kipchoge seared home in 2:04.42 while compatriot Kipsang clocked 2:04.47 as Kimetto finished third in 2:05.50.
Twice winner Kipsang surprisingly labeled Kipchoge as more experienced.
“Before you decided to break you need the right combination of mind and body,” Kipsang said.
“You need enough energy and power to break away from the guys and speed up.
“For races like this it is dependent on how prepared and experienced you are. Me and Dennis have run fast times but Eliud has more experience than us therefore he won.” –Reuters