What you need to know:
- Bekele and Legese exchanged leads at the front covering 10kms in 29:26 and 20km in 59:12 with Amos Kipruto shoulder to shoulder.
- Bekele led through halfway with Kipruto right behind in 1:02:14 but it’s Belgian Abdi Bashir who took charge at the 25km in 1:13:41 with Kipruto on toein the leading pack on seven.
The 2019 World marathon bronze medallist Amos Kipruto has reclaimed the London Marathon title for Kenya.
Kipruto, who had finished second at Tokyo Marathon in March this year, claimed his maiden World Marathon Major title, winning in the British capital in two hours, four minutes and 39 seconds on Sunday.
Kipruto, who stayed in the pack for the better part of the race, claimed victory in style after tactically brushing aside a strong challenge from a sea of Ethiopia athletes in the last seven kilometre.
It was the first time Kipruto was running in London as he majestically recapture the title Eliud Kipchoge won last for Kenya in 2019.
Ethiopian Leul Gebreselasie was second in 2:05:12 followed by Belgian Abdi Bashir in 2:05:19 as Kenenisa Bekele settled fifth in 2:05:53.
Birhanu Legese also from Ethiopia was sixth in 2:06:11 followed by compatriot and defending champion Sisay Lemma in 2:07:26.
Bekele and Legese exchanged leads at the front covering 10kms in 29:26 and 20km in 59:12 with Amos Kipruto shoulder to shoulder.
Bekele led through halfway with Kipruto right behind in 1:02:14 but it’s Belgian Abdi Bashir who took charge at the 25km in 1:13:41 with Kipruto on toein the leading pack on seven.
Kipruto said a cocktail of factors contributed to his first major marathon victory, having finished second in Tokyo in March this year.
Kipruto said the enormous support from millions of Kenyans, his manager Gianni Demadonna, coach Claudio Berardelli, physiotherapist Shadrack Kochom, training mates and family, spurred him to victory.
“I was under pressure and at the same time well prepared for any eventuality. I just had to produce something nice after Eliud Kipchoge broke the world record the other Sunday,” said the 30-year-old, adding that the preparation he had for almost six since finishing second in Tokyo had to produce results.
“I was simply confident, determined, strong with no tension,” said Kipruto, who is glad to have joined the big club of world marathon majors winners.
Kipruto said his strong mind prepared him well for the battle with the Ethiopians.
“I was ready even if they were to injected a pace of 2:10 or 2:20 in a kilometre or a slow race. I had worked on my finishing power in the last kilometes,” said Kipruto, who looked strong even after 35km and 38km.
“I could read the Ethiopians who were with me were tired that is what I decided to give them more time to see if they will break. I decided I have had enough and went for it with four kilometres to go,” said Kipruto.
1. Amos Kipruto (Ken) 2:04:39
2. Leul Gebresilase (Eth) 2:05:12
3. Bashir Abdi (Bel) 2:05:19
4. Kinde Atanaw (Eth) 2:05:27
5. Kenenisa Bekele (Eth) 2:05:53
6. Birhanu Legese (Eth) 2:06:11
7. Sisay Lemma (Eth) 2:07:26
8. Brett Robinson (Aus) 2:09:52
9. Weynay Ghebresilasie (Gbr) 2:11:57
10. Philip Sesemann (Gbr) 2:12:10