Kebede, Shobukova Win London Marathon

Let’s see, gold medalist, bronze medalist… Ah, yes: The 2008 Olympic Marathon silver medalist (and two-time marathon world champion) Jaouad Gharib of Morocco was also in the field.

Kebede wins 2010 Virgin London Marathon.
Kebede wins 2010 Virgin London Marathon.

They said it would be a race for the ages. It wasn’t. It was merely a good race. Wanjiru blew up and dropped out, Tadese learned why they say a marathon is a lot more than twice a half marathon, running 2:12:03 for seventh place, and other big names fizzled as Kebede won easily, by 64 seconds, in 2:05:19. Emmanual Mutai of Kenya, the 2009 Marathon World Championship silver medalist, was second in 2:06:23. The ever-consistent Gharib took third in 2:06:55.

The women’s race, not as star-packed to begin with, was also marred by poor performances from big names. Defending champion Irina Mikitenko, a German by way of Russia, dropped out mid-race with an apparent foot injury. Marathon American record holder and 2006 London Marathon winner Deena Kastor was a non-factor. Last year’s runner-up, Mara Yamauchi of Great Britain, had a rough day, finishing 10th in 2:26:16.

Taking best advantage of the others’ weakness was Russia’s Liliya Shobukhova, whose winning time of 2:22:00 put her 19 seconds ahead of her compatriot Inga Abitova at the finish line. Ethiopia’s Aselefech Mergia captured the third spot, another 19 seconds back.

For a complete image gallery, give this link a “click.”

For an image gallery of last week’s Boston Marathon, click here.

[sgi:MattFitzgerald]

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