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Kenya Breaks Records in London Marathon | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The winners of the London Marathon, Mary Keitany and Wilson
Kipsang, both of Kenya, posed with Prince Harry in front of Buckingham
Palace on Friday. Credit Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters

London- It was an outstanding day for Kenya at the London Marathon as Daniel Wanjiru and record-breaking Mary Keitany stormed to victories.

Keitany, recording her third London win to put alongside her trio of New York victories, set a new world record for a women’s only marathon of 2hr 17min 01sec, smashing the 14-year-old mark of British great Paula Radcliffe.

“It was a great day for me. It was really amazing to run the best time,” 35-year-old Keitany told the BBC.

“The weather was good at the beginning, it was nice for me and my pace. I’ve run my best,” added Keitany, who saw off an Ethiopian great in Tirunesh Dibaba.

Keitany’s fellow Kenyan Wanjiru, 24, recorded his greatest victory as he kept Kenenisa Bekele at bay despite a late rally from the Ethiopian legend and race favourite.

“We helped each other from the start, talking and we tried to maintain that pace for half of the race,” Wanjiru told the BBC of his duel with Bekele.

Wanjiru hinted that he could see himself breaking the world record in the future.

“It was very comfortable (to be in world record pace),” he said.

Aside from the professionals running for prize money, the great majority of the 40,000 participants were amateurs running their hearts out for charitable causes.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) recognizes two marathon world records for women, one for “mixed gender” and the other for “women only”.
Radcliffe still holds the common record of 2:15.25, which she set in a mixed gender race at the London Marathon in 2003 when she used male runners to help set the pace.

Keitany, who won London Marathon three times, prepares to partake in the World Championships which will be held in London in August. She aims to compensate for her wobbly performance at the London’s 2012’s Olympics, despite her winning in the city’s marathon in the same year.