[QODLink]
Sport
Kebede wins London Marathon
Ethiopian holds off Kenyan challenge to win men's race as Shobukhova wins women's.
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2010 15:24 GMT
Kebede crossed the line with a time of 2:05:19 in the English capital [AFP]

Ethiopian Olympic bronze medallist Tsegaye Kebede defied the combined efforts of a powerful Kenyan contingent to win the 30th men's London marathon.

Kebede ran unopposed in the final 10 kilometres to clock two hours five minutes 19 seconds, nine seconds outside the course record set by Kenyan Olympic champion Sammy Wanjiru last year.

Chicago champion Liliya Shobukhova won the women's race in 2:22:00 on a cool, damp Sunday morning.

Temperatures had been forecast to reach 21C after a week of sunny spring weather.

Instead, there was heavy rain shower at the start of the women's event, the cloud cover did not lift and the temperature never exceeded 15 degrees.

During the buildup to the race Wanjiru said the Kenyans would run as a team in a bid to win a seventh consecutive men's title.

Feared opponent

He also said Kebede, who finished second last year after a fierce battle over the final stages, was the opponent he feared most.

The men's field remained bunched until the halfway stage shortly after Tower Bridge, where Wanjiru, whose training had been hampered by a back injury, started to fade.

World champion Abel Kirui and the world silver medallist Emmanuel Mutai took up the Kenyan challenge but Kebede proved too strong, winning by 64 seconds ahead of Mutai.

The consistent Moroccan Jaouad Gharib, twice a world champion, finished third in 2:06:55.

Shobukhova, 32, one of a host of distinguished track runners who have graduated to the marathon, launched her challenge after the halfway mark.

Japanese Mari Ozaki and China's Bai Xue tried but failed to keep up with the pace and a final quartet of Shobukhova, compatriot Inga Abitova plus Ethiopians Aselefech Mergia and Bezunesh Bekele were left at the front.

Confident

Shobukhova, the European 5,000m record-holder, always looked confident and strode comfortably over the closing kilometres to win by 19 seconds ahead of Abitova with Mergia in third place.

German defending champion Irina Mikitenko, who was looking to equal compatriot Katrin Dorre's three successive victories dropped out at 18kms with an injury to her left foot while British hope Mara Yamauchi finished 10th.

Yamauchi, who took six days to reach London from the United States because of the disruption to air travel created by the Iceland volcano, said she had found it hard to stick with the pace.

"(It was) just a combination of the journey here and having been injured last year that maybe I wasn't as prepared as I was last year," she told the BBC.

"The journey to get here tired me out a bit more than I thought."

Source:
Reuters
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after caf killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.