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Mutai, Keitany win London crowns

LONDON, April 17 – Emmanuel Mutai and Mary Keitany produced spectacular solo performances to win the men and women's titles in London Marathon on Sunday.

Mutai shattered the course record to win the men’s race in a time of 2:04.40 while Keitany was in a class of herself clocking 2:29.18 to claim her fisrt ever martahon win in only her second attempt.

Mutai had finished second here last year and he went one better this time thanks to a spectacular run that beat the previous best time of 2:05.10 set by Samuel Wanjiru in 2009.

The 26-year-old’s time was also the fifth-fastest ever in a marathon and was just reward for a dominant display.

He broke away from three-time winner Martin Lel at around the 21-mile mark and sprinted to the finish to ensure his record time.

Kenya’s Lel held off compatriot Patrick Makau to take second place in a sprint finish.

Mutai admitted his victory had been a long time coming after several years striving for a marathon success.

"I’m happy with the result, since I came to run in London I was fourth twice and second once, and now my dream has come true," he told BBC TV.

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"I tried in New York last year and I came second but the best has come for me today.

"My aim was just to win the race I wasn’t focusing on the time. It’s a fantastic achievement for me personally."

It was a triumphant day for competitors from the east African country, as Kenya’s Mary Keitany won the women’s race in a time of 2:19.18.

Keitany relegated defending champion Liliya Shobukhova of Russia into second, with Kenya’s Edna Kiplagat in third on her London Marathon debut.

She pulled ahead of the pack at the 15-mile mark and increased the pace on her way to running the fourth fastest marathon of all time.

The 29-year-old, who began her marathon career as a pacesetter in 2007, becomes the tenth woman to run a marathon in under 2hr 20min.

Keitany’s impressive showing makes her a strong medal contender for the Olympic marathon at London 2012.

Great Britain’s Jo Pavey came through in a time of 2:28.23, the seventh fastest time by a British female athlete and inside the British Olympic qualifying time.

In the wheelchair race Britain’s David Weir claimed an unprecedented fifth title with a perfectly timed sprint finish.

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Weir waited until he was within sight of the finish on The Mall before powering past Switzerland’s Heinz Frei to become the most successful wheelchair athlete in the event’s history.

In the women’s wheelchair race, Shelly Woods was pipped on the line by American Amanda McGrory.

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