NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 28 – Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge overcame a tough Ethiopian challenge to not only storm to a record fourth men’s London Marathon title in a time of 2:02:37, but also smashed the course record.
Only Olympic champion Kipchoge himself has gone quicker over the distance with 2:01:39 in Berlin last year.
The 34-year-old, whose previous London triumphs came in the 2015, 2016 and 2018 editions, was in imperious form as he broke clear of Ethiopia’s Mosinet Geremew and Mule Wasihun, second and third respectively.
— Eliud Kipchoge (@EliudKipchoge) April 28, 2019
Britain’s Mo Farah, whose build-up to race day was overshadowed by an extraordinary row with distance great Haile Gebrselassie over an alleged robbery in the hotel owned by the retired Ethiopian, could not cope with the pace as he finished in fifth place.
“I’m happy to win on the streets of London for the fourth time and to make history. The crowd in London is wonderful and that spirit pushed me. From the first kilometre to the last, everybody is shouting. I’m happy to cross the line,” Kipchoge said after winning.
Asked about his next race, he said: “As usual, I do not chase two rabbits; I only chase one and that was London. I have caught that rabbit so I will discuss with my team what follows. The second option is still open.”
Farah’s time of 2:05:39, although outside his personal best, is the second fastest by a Briton.
“I felt great with my start. My aim was to follow the pacemaker, but after 20 miles when he dropped out, the gap opened up and it became hard to close. My aim was to try and reel them back but the wheels came off and I was hanging in there,” the four-time Olympic champion, 36, said.
“Congratulations to Eliud and the better man won today. He is a very special athlete and he is humble. If Eliud can run those sort of times it just gives us another level of possibility. It’s a different mindset chasing someone and it takes the pressure off me.”