Kenyans sweep to victories at Boston Marathon
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[April 18, 2017]
By Scott Malone
BOSTON (Reuters) - Geoffrey Kirui and
Edna Kiplagat produced a Kenyan sweep at the Boston Marathon,
winning the men's and women's races on Monday by conquering the
race's hilly final miles to establish their dominance.
Kirui finished in two hours nine minutes and 37 seconds after
holding off a challenge by American Galen Rupp in the race's final
stretch down Boylston Street, the site of the deadly 2013 bombing
Kirui repeatedly tested Rupp in the closing miles, with the American
Olympic bronze medalist eventually unable to match the Kenyan's
"He put in several surges and I was able to cover a few of them,"
Rupp told reporters after the race.
Kiplagat, a 38-year-old mother of two whose resume includes marathon
wins in London, Moscow, New York and Daegu, ran alone for the final
miles of the race and finished in 2:21:52, almost a minute ahead of
Bahrain's Rose Chelimo.
The Kenyan maintained her comfortable lead despite briefly stopping
in the final miles when she realized she had grabbed a rival's water
bottle from an aid station and went back to return it.
"I had to put back something which was not mine," Kiplagat told
reporters. "I was afraid, because you know, if you miss water it can
American Jordan Hasay set a record for an American women's debut
marathon, coming in third in 2:23:00. Japan's Suguru Osako finished
third among the men.
Security was high along the course, which begins in Hopkinton,
Massachusetts, and passes through Boston's suburbs to the finish
line, where a pair of ethnic Chechen brothers on April 15, 2013 set
off two homemade bombs, killing three people and injuring more than
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Edna Kiplagat of Kenya crosses the finish line to win the women’s
division of the 121st Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts,
U.S., April 17, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Meb Keflezighi, who in 2014 became the first American to win the
race in over three decades, finished 13th in his final Boston
Keflezighi, who plans to retire from racing after the New York City
marathon in November, stopped after his victory to touch the hand of
Bill Richard, whose 8-year-old son Martin was the youngest person to
die in the bombing.
"In 2013, I was a spectator just like the three victims and when I
saw the 8-year-old ... the first thing in my mind was that could
have been my daughter," said Keflezighi.
Tens of thousands of people packed the streets for Boston's largest
sporting event, held on the Patriots Day holiday, which commemorates
the start of the American Revolution.
(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Richard Lough and Larry Fine)
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