Kirui wins world marathon title after duel with Tola

LONDON: Kenya’s Geoffrey Kipkorir Kirui prevailed in a compelling east African duel with Ethiopian Tamirat Tola on the streets of London to win the men’s marathon at the World Athletics Championships on Sunday.
Kirui, victor at the Boston Marathon in April, finally broke Tola, the fastest man in the field, with five miles (8.05 km) of the 26.2-mile course left after they had gone head-to-head over the second half of the race.
At the 19-mile mark, Tola, the fastest man in the field, had made his decisive effort and sped away from the 24-year-old Kenyan but within two miles Kirui had hauled back the lead before surging away immediately and emphatically.
Kirui forged on so powerfully that by the end of the race as he came towards the line at Tower Bridge, he even had time to tap the hands of some of the hundreds of fans lining the finish.
“This is the best moment of my career, easily. I am so happy to win the world title because it is my first time at these championships,” Kirui said afterwards.
“This was the best course and the best crowd I have seen at a marathon.”
Kenya’s fifth men’s world champion at the distance eventually clocked 2 hours 8 minutes 27 seconds, finishing one minute and 22 seconds ahead of Tola (2:09:49).
The Ethiopian, who had tired rapidly after Kirui’s second wind, just held on for silver by two seconds from the fast-finishing Alphonce Simbu, who won Tanzania’s second medal ever at a World Championships.
— Reuters