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Diana Kipyogei and Benosn Kipruto celebrate winning the Boston Marathon. PHOTO/World Athletics

Athletics

Kipyogei, Kipruto score impressive Kenyan double at Boston Marathon

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 11 – Diana Kipyogei led a podium sweep in the women’s race while Benson Kipruto won his first ever major marathon, both clinching victories in total Kenyan dominance at the Boston Marathon on Monday.

Kipyogei stopped the clock in a time of 2hrs, 24mins 45secs to lead a Kenyan podium sweep with 41-year old Edna Kiplagat, champion of the race in 2017 and silver medalist in 2019 coming in second while Mary Ngugi was third and Monicah Ngige fourth.

In the men’s race, Kipruto who finished 10th in the race in 2019 and was seventh at the London Marathon last year clinched his first ever major crown, crossing the finish line in 2hrs, 09mins, 51secs.

“I really feel delighted to have come here and won. It was a tough race but I had prepared well for it and I want to thank my coaches and the management for the help they gave me. I felt strong today and after about 29kms, I decided to open the gap,” Kipyogei said after the race.

The leading pack in which Kipyegei had been part of from the start went through 10km in 35:00 and they also crossed the 21km mark in 1:14:11, maintaining a steady pace all through, with the pack consisting of almost 15 ladies.

The Kenyan quartet maintained their hold in front of the group which also included Ethiopia’s Netsanet Gudeta and Workenesh Edesa.

But, Kipyogei made her move just as they were approaching the 35km mark, striding forward with Gudeta following her on her trail.

They ran side by side for almost 5km, but the Kenyan could not relent on the pace, pressing steady steps and ensuring the Ethiopian was kept at arm’s length. Eventually, she could not match the pace.

41-year old Kiplagat was now catching up with the two as so did Ngugi and Ngige who were slowly bagging the tempo behind.

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Kipyogei had extended her lead from Kiplagat by 27 seconds before extending the tempo to the finishing line.

Kiplagat ensured she matched her finish from the 2019 race when she finished second in 2:25:09 while Ngugi came through for third place in 2:25:20.

Meanwhile in the men’s race, Kipruto clinched the crown after playing his cards close to his chest for most of the race.

American CJ Albertson had led the race for most of the time and took the leading pack through a very fast 5km in 14:29. He went on to do 10km in 29:31 and 15km in 45:01, clearing the halfway mark in 1:04:08 and maintaining a healthy lead.

The chase pack – which now comprised 16 men, including 2017 Boston winner Geoffrey Kirui, two-time Boston winner Lelisa Desisa, and Ethiopian half marathon record-holder Jemal Yimer – worked together to make up the deficit on Albertson.

By the time Albertson reached 30km (1:33:03), his lead was down to 54 seconds. He was finally caught shortly before the 35km mark, and just a few minutes later he had fallen off the back of the lead pack, which still had 14 men in contention.

Not long after passing 35km in 1:49:25, Kipruto put his foot down and opened up a significant gap on the rest of the pack.

The Kenyan covered the next five-kilometre segment in 14:05, which stunned his opponents, who suddenly found they were some 37 seconds adrift with little more than two kilometres to go.

Kipruto maintained his punishing pace to the finish, eventually crossing the line in 2:09:51. Lemi Berhanu emerged from the pack to take second place in 2:10:37 from compatriot Yimer, who finished third in 2:10:38 on his debut at the distance.

It’s Kipruto’s second marathon victory of the year following his 2:10:16 win in Prague in May.

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Before this year, his only other triumph over the classic distance came in Toronto in 2018 (2:07:24); he returned to the Canadian city one year later and set a PB of 2:05:13 to finish fourth.

There were only two other Kenyans in the top 10, Leonard Barsoton finishing fifth in his debut with a time of 2:11:11 while Wilson Chebet was ninth in 2:11:40.

-Additional info courtesy of World Athletics

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