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November 14, 2018

Kirui, Kiplagat lead Kenyan sweep in Chicago Marathon

Abel Kirui of Kenya celebrates winning the men's marathon at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Daegu, September 4, 2011. REUTERS
Abel Kirui of Kenya celebrates winning the men's marathon at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Daegu, September 4, 2011. REUTERS

Two time world champion Abel Kirui and Florrence Kiplagat led Kenya’s sweep in the 39th Bank of America Chicago Marathon yesterday

Kirui clocked 2:11:23 to beat fellow Kenyan and defending champion Dickson Chumba to second place in 2:11:26.

Gideon Kipketer completed the podium finish in the men’s category after posting 2:12:20 while Paul Lonyangata (2:13:17) and

Stephen Sambu (2:13:35) ensured the country swept the top five places after finishing fourth and fifth respectively.

The top Ethiopian Abayneh Ayele finished sixth in 2:13:52 and was followed by Japanese Takuya Fukatsu (2:13:530 in the seventh place.

Diego Estrada (U.S.) 2:13:56; Koji Gokaya (Japan) 2:14:34 and Elkanah Kibet (U.S.) 2:16:37; followed in the order for the top 10 positions. Three Kenyans — Kirui, Chumba and Kipketer — pulled away around mile 20 in a curiously up and down race, and a slow one, on the men’s side, perhaps because of the year without pacesetters.

In an interview, Kirui expressed delight for returning after a number of struggles to win again.

He said his next target will be World Championships in London and he is already spoiling a for a face off with Olympic marathon champion, Eliud Kipchoge and Wilson Kipsang. “ I am happy after winning Chicago and my next target will be London 2017,” he said.

he said the Chicago course had favoured him despite the hilly conditions. “ The weather was also in my favour because I am lucky it wasn't humid,” he added.

the script was the same in the women’s race as defending champion Kiplagat retained her title.

Kiplagat seized control around 30K and raced to a dominating victory in the women’s race. The Kenyan finished in 2:21:32, more than two minutes faster than her 2:23:33 in 2015, when she waited until 40K to take control.

Edna Kiplagat was second timed at 2:23:28 while Valentine Kipketer (2:23:41) ensured a Kenyan podium sweep. Purity Rionoripo placed fourth in 2:24:47 ahead of Yebrqual Melese of Ethiopia who was fifth in 2:24:49.

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