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Michael Kipyego Wins Tokyo Marathon

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Feb. 27, 2012
  • Updated Feb. 27, 2012 at 2:56 PM UTC
Michael Kipyego breaks the tape in Tokyo. Photo: AP

He defeated Haile Gebrselassie at the end of the race.

With over two miles remaining in the Tokyo Marathon, Kenya’s Michael Kipyego established himself as one of the best of the best, passing Ethiopian legend Haile Gebrselassie and winning the race.

Kipyego crossed the finish line in two hours, seven minutes, and 37 seconds. It was his first career win.

“I was able to close the gap on Haile,” Kipyego said. “I thought I should hang back for a bit but changed my mind and pushed because there were other runners coming from behind.”

Gebrselassie, the former world-record holder in the marathon, had wanted to secure a spot on the Ethiopian Olympic team using this race, but finished in a disappointing 2:08:17–good for fourth.
Despite his performance, Gebrselassie is upbeat about his prospects to run in the London Olympics this summer.
“I could run another marathon in two weeks,” Gebrselassie said. “I felt fantastic here for the first 30 kilometers then had some problems at the end of the race.”
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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at Competitor.com and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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