ATHLETICS

Kenya's Kipchoge defends London Marathon title

The former track star clocked 2hrs 03mins 05secs, the second fastest in history over the distance and just eight seconds off the world record.

Kenya's Kipchoge defends London Marathon title
GLYN KIRK AFP

Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya set a new course record in winning the London Marathon for the second straight year on Sunday.

The former track star clocked an unofficial time of 2hrs 03mins 05secs, the second fastest run in history over the distance, just eight seconds shy of the world record set by fellow Kenyan Dennis Kimetto at the Berlin Marathon in September 2014.

The 31-year-old Kipchoge broke clear of another Kenyan, Stanley Biwott, with about three kilometres to go and sprinted home well ahead of Biwott with track legend Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia in third.

He is the first man to win back-to-back London marathons since Martin Lel of Kenya in 2008.

For Biwott it was the second time he has finished runner-up in London after 2014. He was fourth behind winner Kipchoge last year. His time of 2:03:51 was a personal best

Former Olympic and world track champion over 5,000 and 10,000 kms Bekele showed a return to form after a niggling series of injuries.