Sifan Hassan claims victory on her marathon debut in London ( Photo © AFP/Getty Images)
Sport

Megertu Finishes third in London Marathon as Sifan Makes Winning Debut

Netherlands’ Sifan Hassan produced a remarkable run to win the women’s London Marathon on her debut at the distance as Ethiopia’s Megertu Alemu finished third.

The women’s field was billed as the strongest ever assembled, featuring the Olympic champion, world record-holder, defending champion and a total of six women with sub-2:18 PBs.

Safia, 30, ran her own race and beat them all. She produced a sprint finish to win in 2:18:33 after dropping back an hour into the race with a hip problem.

Ethiopia’s Megertu Alemu Megertu was runner-up in second place, ploughing through the rainy conditions to achieve a time of 2:18:37.

She finished just one second ahead of Jepchirchir, who up until London had remained unbeaten over the marathon distance, having won all five of her 26.2-mile efforts before today.

The defending champion Yalemzerf Yehualaw of Ethiopia finished fifth in 2:18:53 while Kenyan world record holder Brigid Kosgei dropped out after just three minutes into the race.

Two other Ethiopian athletes finished in the top 10 – Almaz Ayana was seventh in 2:20:44 and Tadu Teshome eighth in 2:21:31.

Kenyan Youngster Smashes course Record

Kenya’s Kelvin Kiptum smashed the course record to win the men’s title on his London Marathon debut.

According to the World Athletics (WA), the 23-year-old recorded the fastest marathon debut in history in Valencia in December, winning in 2:01:53 to enter the world all-time list at No.3 behind Eliud Kipchoge and Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele, who ran 2:01:41 in Berlin in 2019.

But in London, he went on to improve his marathon time by 28 seconds, taking more than a minute off the course record of 2:02:37 that had been set by Kipchoge in 2019.

Another Kenyan Geoffrey Kamworor ran 2:04:23 for runner-up place.

Ethiopia’s reigning world champion Tamirat Tola clocked 2:04:59 for third ahead his compatriots – last year’s runner-up Leul Gebresilase (2:05:45) fourth and Seifu Tura (2:06:38) fifth.

Britain’s Mo Farah was ninth in his final London Marathon. After the race, the 40-year-old four-time Olympic champion said he would finish his career at the Great North Run in September.

– EM/WA/Agencies