London Marathon 2017: Mary Keitany savours 'amazing' victory in record-breaking time

Nick Mashiter
Mary Keitany broke Paula Radcliffe's 12-year 'women's only' record: Getty

Kenya's Mary Keitany set a new world record to win the women's London Marathon as Daniel Wanjiru took victory in the men's race. Earlier, Britain's David Weir won a record seventh wheelchair title to clinch his first victory in London since 2012.

Keitany broke Paula Radcliffe's 12-year women's only marathon record after posting two hours, 17 minutes and one second. “I want to say it was a great day for me. It was really amazing,” she told the BBC after her third win in London.

In the men's race Kenyan Wanjiru held off the challenge of Kenenisa Bekele, who holds the 5,000 metres and 10,000 metres world records as well as eight Olympic and world titles, to win in 2:05.48. It was the biggest victory of his career, having previously won the 2016 Amsterdam Marathon, while Bedan Karoki was third.


“Yes, everything is possible,” Wanjiru told the BBC when asked if he could break the world record. “At the beginning the race was very fast, inside world record pace. As the race was very fast anything can happen.

“It was becoming tougher and tougher. We pushed and the sun was coming up and the day was beautiful. I have tasted world record pace which was good for me.”

Robbie Simpson and Andrew Davies finished 15th and 16th respectively while Swansea's Josh Griffiths, running his first marathon, was the first Briton across the line in the mass event in 2:14.49 and could now qualify for the British team for the World Championships.

In the wheelchair race Weir clinched victory on Sunday in 1:31:06 after a sprint finish to beat defending champion Marcel Hug by just a second. Weir, taking part for an 18th consecutive year, won the Paris Marathon earlier this month.

Rafael Botello Jimenez was third after a dramatic finish on The Mall as Weir passed Tanni Grey-Thompson's six victories and said it helped banish the demons of his failed Paralympic bid.

Weir crosses the line in the men's wheelchair race (Getty)

Weir failed to complete the marathon in Rio and then vowed never to represent Team GB again, suggesting he had been let down by British Athletics. He told a press conference: “I felt there was a weight lifted off my shoulders.

“The last four months have been hell for me - mentally and stuff. It's been a challenge to even get out and train. But all the people I've had helping me have been amazing - my coach, my mum, my kids.

“I thought I'd struggle to get on the startline a few months ago. But winning Paris did me the world of good, to be honest. I've waited five years. That was the best I've felt in a London Marathon. It's amazing. It's been lingering for five years now and it's one of the biggest wins I've ever had.”

Soon after Weir's victory Keitany crossed the line, having broken away from the pack after just five kilometres. She also set a new course record as she beat Radcliffe's previous women's only record of two hours 17 minutes and 42 seconds, set at the London Marathon in 2005.

Wanjiru held off the challenge of Bekele (Getty)

Radcliffe still holds the women's world record of 2:15.25, set at the London Marathon in 2003 when she ran against men and women. Keitany beat Ethiopia's Tirunesh Dibaba, who finished second, after Dibaba began to struggle on the Embankment, even stopping at one point as she appeared to clutch her stomach. Ethiopia's Aselefech Mergia finished third.

Alyson Dixon was the first British runner across the line, finishing 14th, to seal her spot in GB's squad for the summer's World Championships as five-time Olympian Jo Pavey dropped out after 16 miles. Dixon ran a personal best of 2:29:06 while Charlotte Purdue and Tracey Barlow are now also expected to qualify for the World Championships after finishing 15th and 16th respectively.

In the women's wheelchair race Switzerland's Manuela Schar took the title for the first time.

PA

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes