Reuters

Limo pips Lel in London

Limo pips Lel in London thriller
By Eurosport

23/04/2006 at 12:57Updated

Felix Limo took the honours in Sunday's London Marathon, beating fellow Kenyan and defending champion Martin Lel in a thrilling sprint finish. Earlier, US runner Deena Kastor set a personal best to win the women's race in near-perfect conditions on the co

Limo, 25, was running for the first time in London after recording wins in Rotterdam, Berlin and Chicago.

He clocked two hours six minutes and 39 seconds to win by two seconds ahead of Lel with South African Hendrick Ramaala 14 seconds adrift in third place.

The leading men's contenders, including race favourite and four-times world 10,000 metres champion Haile Gebrselassie remained tightly bunched on a cool, wet morning until the 30 km mark when Kenyan Evans Rutto accelerated to the front.

Rutto was unable to shake off the pack and the next break came at 38 km when Kenyan Rogers Rop and Lel moved away.

Ramaala responded before Limo and Lel made their final move. The pair ran stride for stride until Limo surged over the final metres to win by two seconds.

KASTOR WNS IN RECORD TIME

In the women's event, Kastor joined Kenyans Susan Chepkemei and Salina Kosgei in a break within the first three km behind two male pacemakers.

The trio went through 15 km in 49 minutes 41 seconds before Kosgei dropped off the pace. Chepkemei tracked Kastor until 25 km when the American pulled away.

She passed the 30 km mark in 1:39:08, 27 seconds ahead of Chepkemei, and held on to win ahead of Russian Lydumila Petrova who who made a late run to relegate Chepkemei to third place.

Kastor, a former track runner, ran her first marathon in New York five years ago.

She clocked her previous best of 2:21:16 when she finished third in the 2003 London race and in the following year she became the first American to win an Olympic medal since Jone Benoit finished first at the 1984 Los Angeles Games.

"I was very happy with the win," Kastor told reporters. "It was one of my expectations as my training has been going so well. I managed to hold on to go under 2:20 which was my main goal."

The leading men's contenders remained tightly bunched until the 30 km mark when Kenyan Evans Rutto accelerated to the front.

Rutto was unable to skake off the pack and the next break came at 38 km when Kenyan Rogers Rop and Lel moved away.

Ramaala responded before Limo and Lel made their definitive move. The pair ran stride for stride when Limo surged in the final metres to win by two seconds.

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