The newly-crowned Boston Marathon champion Lawrence Cherono has dedicated his win to his family after winning the 123rd edition of the race last Sunday.
It was a sprint finish between Cherono and Ethiopia's Lelisa Desisa in the last few metres to the tape in what the Kaptagat-based athlete said he was really prepared for.
Cherono, who jets back home on Thursday, won the race in 2 hours 07 minutes and 57 seconds, ahead of Desisa, who clocked 2:07:59, while Kenya's Kenneth Kipkemoi was in third place after clocking 2:08:07.
He is dedicating the win to his wife, Winny Kebenei and his brother, Benson Cherono, who have both been a pillar during his preparations for the race.
“I want to dedicate my win to my wife and my brother who gave me all the support during my training. I have been camping at Kaptagat Rosa Associati camp and they gave me ample time and I’m happy I won because of them,” said Cherono.
The victory was so sweet for Cherono after his attempt to win the London Marathon last year was ruined by an injury he got during the race, forcing him to settle for seventh position after clocking 2:09:25.
The athlete told Nation Sport hedidn't believe that he would win the race.
“I knew I was going to be in third position when we remained three after the 37km mark. Desisa has a good kick and Kipkemoi on his part was in the track before and in my mind, I knew they would outsprint me, but that was not the case,” said Cherono.
“Desisa was going to play mind games with us and we didn’t want to give him a chance. When we tried to react, he was there following us and I had to retract a little bit so that I could follow him closely,” said Cherono, on phone from Boston.
His brother, Benson said that they will be welcoming the champion back home in style as they plan to celebrate the achievement.
“He has done us proud and we are going to hold celebrations when he comes home because he fought hard for the prize,” said his brother.
Felix Kandie settled for fourth place in 2:08:52 with former champion Geoffrey Kirui (2:08:55), Philemon Rono (2:08:58), Festus Talam (2:09:25) and Benson Kipruto (2:09:53) were in fifth, sixth, ninth and 10th position respectively.
The women's category saw Ethiopia's Worknesh Degefa cross the finish line in 2:23:31 ahead of former two-time world marathon champion Edna Kiplagat, who timed 2:24:13, as USA’s Jordan Hasay sealed the podium three in 2:25:20.
Kiplagat on her part said that she knew breaking early would take a toll on her and chose to remain with the leading pack up to the 35km mark.
“I wanted to break but I knew the other athletes would use me as a pacemaker and in my mind, I knew we would get the leader who had broken away in 15km mark. We were wrong because when I tried to give a chase, she was already far much ahead,” said Kiplagat.
The athlete, who is on vacation, said that she will be happy if she will be named in the World Championships marathon team slated for October in Doha, Qatar.
“I missed the gold medal after Bahrain’s Rose Chelimo beat me in the last 100m and I want to revenge,” said the athlete.