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Kosgei wins Boston Marathon

Monday April 20 2009

Elite women runners start the 113th running of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Massachusetts on Monday. Kenya’s Salina Kosgei (front row, third from right in yellow jersey) won the race. Photo/REUTERS

Elite women runners start the 113th running of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Massachusetts on Monday. Kenya’s Salina Kosgei (front row, third from right in yellow jersey) won the race. Photo/REUTERS 

By CHRIS MUSUMBA and Agencies

Kenyan runners’ dominance of international marathon continued on Monday when Salina Kosgei beat Ethiopia’s defending champion Dire Tune at the tape to win the Boston Marathon. Kosgei’s winning time was two hours, 32 minutes and six seconds.

Kosgei, 32, beat Ethiopia’s Dire Tune and Kara Goucher of the United States in a three-way sprint to win the world’s oldest annually contested marathon.

The men’s title went to Ethiopia’s Deriba Merga in 2:08.43 with Kenyan Daniel Rono second.

Merga, 28, finished in an unofficial time of 2:08:42, beating Rono and Ryan Hall of the United States in the world’s oldest annually contested marathon.

Merga’s win broke a three-year winning streak for Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot of Kenya who had trouble midway yesterday’s race.

Friday's performance was an extension of Kenya's impressive show over the weekend in which they took control of almost all the top races from Nagano in Japan to Vienna and Belgrade in Europe.

Benson Barus and Agnes Kiprop won the Turin Marathon producing solid performances despite the wet and cold conditions on Sunday.

Barus clocked 2:09:07 beating Italian Ruggero Pertile who also dipped under the 2:10 barrier finishing runner-up in 2:09:53, a new personal best. Paul Samoei finished third in 2:11:37.

Weather conditions became worse preventing Barus from running under 2:09. The Kenyan, who prepared for the Turin Marathon training with Duncan Kibet (2:04:27) and James Kwambai, ran at a fast pace in the final kilometres despite the conditions and crossed the finish-line in Piazza Castello in the heart of the city in 2:09:07.

“The race was fine. I made a good job. I expected to run 2:08 but I cannot complain because it is my job to run in these weather conditions”, said Barus.

Kiprop dominated the women’s race from gun to tape improving the Turin course record with a time of 2:26:22. The previous course record was held by Estonian Jane Salumae who won in 1997 in 2:27:04.

Tirfi Beyene finished second in 2:29:04, while former Tokyo Marathon winner Bruna Genovese took third place in 2:30:51. “I broke the course record running alone,” said Kiprop. “I thank my coach Gabriele Nicola and my training partners Lidia Cheromei, Helena Kirop, Mary Keitany and Selian Kosgei who trained with me in Kenya. I could have run 2:25 in better weather conditions.”

In Serbia, Victor Kigen won the Belgrade Marathon on his debut on Saturday morning, just as his mentor Paul Tergat suggested he would.

Anne Kosgei 2.34.51 took the women crown. Bright sunshine and rising temperatures persuaded the leaders to race conservatively, and it wasn’t until the last 10 kilometres that Kigen’s surge broke up the pack.

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