Kenya’s Lawrence Cherono rallied from behind to edge out Ethiopia’s former two-time champion Lelisa Desisa in a sprint finish to clinch this year’s Boston Marathon title on Monday.
It was a three-horse race thriller in the last two kilometres with Cherono, 30, compatriot Kenneth Kipkemoi and Desisa teasing each other.
However, it’s Cherono, who had the last laugh beating Desisa with five metres to go in 2 hours, 07 minutes and 57 seconds to win his first World Marathon Majors crown.
Desisa, who won the title in 2013 and 2015, settled third in 2:07:59, as Kipkemoi claimed his career best finish in the World Marathon Majors settling third in 2:08:07.
Kenya’s Felix Kandie came in fourth in 2:08:54 with compatriot and 2017 Boston Marathon champion Geoffrey Kirui taking fifth place also in 2:08:54. Kirui is the reigning World Marathon champion.
"It wasn't easy because I used a lot of energy in kicking, but I am not disappointed since it worked well against the Ethiopians who are fond of beating us in the kick," said Cherono, the 2017 and 2018 Amsterdam Marathon champion, who finished seventh at 2018 London Marathon.
Cherono is also the winner of the 2015 Sevilla and 2016 Praha Marathons.
In the women's race, Ethiopia’s Worknesh Degefa claimed her maiden World Marathon Majors victory when she destroyed the field with just 10kms to win in 2 hours, 23 minutes and 30 second.
Degefa edged out Kenya’s Edna Kiplagat, the 2017 Boston Marathon champion to second place in 2:25:20 after the Kenyan gave a futile chase just after the 35km mark in vain.
American Jordan Hasay claimed the last podium place in 2:25:20.
Degefa took control of the race passing the 10km mark in 33:358 seconds with Kenya’s Sharon Cherop and Ethiopian Mare Dibaba in pursuit.
Degefa built her lead to 1 minute and 24 second when cruising past the 15km mark in 50:21 and 20km in 1:06:59.
At halfway mark, Degefa, the 2917 Dubai Marathon champion led in 1:10:40 with the chasing pack led by Kiplagat, almost a minute behind to cross the 21km mark in 1:13:07.
Degefa cruised past 25km in 1:23:43 before hitting 30km in 1:40:48 with Kiplagat behind in three minutes. Kiplagat then began the chase to reduce Degefa’s lead by almost 30 seconds at 35km.
All was in vain as Degefa passed the 40km mark in 2:15:43 with Kiplagat behind by a minute and 08 seconds as the Ethiopian held on to win her first event in the WMM.
1. Worknesh Degefa (ETH) 2:23:31
2. Edna Kiplagat (KEN)2:24:13
3. Jordan Hasay (USA)2:25:20
4. Meskerem Assefa (ETH)2:25:40
5. Desiree Linden, (USA)2:27:00
6. Caroline Rotich (KEN)2:28:27
7. Mary Ngugi, (KEN)2:28:33
8. Biruktayit Eshetu (ETH)2:29:10
9. Lindsay Flanagan (USA)2:30:07
10. Betsy Saina (KEN)2:30:3
1. Lawrence Cherono (KEN) 2:07:57
2. Lelisa Desisa (ETH) 2:07:59
3. Kenneth Kipkemoi (KEN) 2:08:07
4. Felix Kandie (KEN) 2:08:54
5. Geoffrey Kirui (KEN) 2:08:55
6. Philemon Rono (KEN) 2:08:57
7. Scott Fauble (USA) 2:09:09
8. Jared Ward (USA) 2:09:25
9. Festus Talam (KEN) 2:09:25
10. Benson Kipruto (KEN) 2:09:53