NAIROBI, Kenya, April 20 – Salina Kosgei fended off a strong challenge from former champion Dure Tune to win the Boston Marathon on Monday.
Kosgei crossed the finish line in 2:32:16, a second in front of her Ethiopian rival who collapsed to the ground the moment she completed the race.
“I didn’t expect to win this race because I thought the defending champion (Tune) was going to win but with two miles I decided to keep at it and you saw what happened,” said an elated Kosgei who was running in her first Boston Marathon.
“The wind was very strong because it was pushing me backwards but I tried my best,” added the 32 year old who received a pay cheque of Sh12 million.
Both Kosgei and Tune treated the ‘Red Sox Nation’ to one of the most exciting finishes in the events 113 year history with local favourite Kara Goucher who was at the forefront for most of the race crossing the tape eight seconds behind Tune.
The womens’s race undoubtedly took centre stage throughout the streets of Boston with Helen Kiprop and Alice Timbilili of Kenya and fourth place finisher Bezunesh Bekele all staking a claim for the one of the most sought after titles in the marathon.
Daniel Rono finished second in the men’s race behind winner Deriba Merga who ran the marathon of his life.
Rono who held his own throughout the 42 km course could not match the aggressive tactics of his Ethiopian counterpart and finished the race in 2:09:32.
It was a disappointing day for Robert ‘Mwafrika’ Cheruiyot who failed to finish amongst the top ten.
Mwafrika’s expected duel with eventual third place finisher American Ryan Hall failed to materialize depite both runners featuring prominently in the initial stages of the race.
His namesake Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot clinched fifth spot in a time of 2:10:06 while other Kenyans Evans Cheruiyot, Stephen Kiogora and Timothy Cherigat finished in eigth, tenth and ninth place respectively.
1. Salina Kosgei (KEN) – 2:32:16
2. Dire Tune (ETH) – 2:32:17
3. Kara Goucher (USA) – 2:32:25
4. Bezunesh Bekele (ETH) – 2:33:08
5. Helena Kirop (KEN) – 2:33:24
6. Lidiya Grigoryeva (RUS) – 2:34:20
7. Atsede Habtamu (ETH) – 2:35:34
8. Colleen De Reuck (USA) – 2:35:37
9. Alice Timbilili (KEN) – 2:36:25
10. Alina Ivanova (RUS) – 2:36:50
1. Deriba Merga (ETH) 2:08:42
2. Daniel Rono (KEN) 2:09:32
3. Ryan Hall (USA) 2:09:40
4. Tekeste Kebede (ETH) 2:09:49
5. Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot (KEN) 2:10:06
6. Gashaw Asfaw (ETH) 2:10:44
7. Solomon Molla (ETH) 2:12:02
8. Evans Cheruiyot (KEN) 2:12:45