By Nilesh Patel
- David Weir wins record seventh London Marathon
- Kenyan duo, Daniel Wanjiru and Mary Keitany, win men’s and women’s Marathon
- Alyson Dixon and Robbie Simpson finish as top Britons in elite race
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – David Weir headlines day for Great Britain as he claims his seventh London Marathon wheelchair title, as Jo Pavey is forced to retire in 16th mile.
Weir’s seventh heaven
Six-time Paralympic gold medalist, David Weir, finished Sunday’s marathon in one hour 31 minutes six seconds.
The 37-year-old clinched the win on the final bend with Weir in the shadow of defending champion and Swiss front-man Marcel Hug. The two, alongside Rafael Botello Jimenez, took part in a thrilling sprint down the Mall where Weir powered through to create a three second gap from the Spaniard.
The win was Weir’s seventh record London Marathon elite wheelchair title, which now means he surpasses fellow Briton Baroness Grey-Thompson, who claimed six London Marathon wins during her illustrious career.
At the turn of the year, Weir claimed he would never a Great Britain vest again following a disappointing Paralympic Games in Rio last summer.
However, in what was his 18th consecutive year competing in the marathon, the first place finish on Sunday – and last month’s win in the Paris marathon – may bring him the motivation to continue on the track and banish his Rio demons.
Elsewhere, in the women’s elite wheelchair race, Switzerland’s Manuela Schar completed the marathon in one hour 39 minutes and 57 seconds to finish first. In the same race, Jade Jones, finished fifth topping the list of competing Brits. She finished in one hour 51 minutes, in what is a respectable time for the 21-year-old.
Leeds’ Callum Hall, who completed the men’s wheelchair race in one hour 44 minutes tweeted his congratulations to Jones:
Kenyan domination in men’s and women’s marathon
Mary Keitany was the first winner of the afternoon as she broke Paula Radcliffe‘s women’s only world record to win in London.
The 35-year-old Kenyan passed the finish line in two hours 17 minutes and one second, the second-fastest time in history. A time that was 41 seconds quicker than the four time British Olympian’s performance in 2005.
In the same event, Alyson Dixon was the first British athlete to cross the finish line in the elite women’s race. Hot on her heels was fellow team-mates Charlotte Purdue and Tracy Barlow who spurred each other on over the home straight on the Mall.
There was disappointment however for five-time Olympian Jo Pavey, who unfortunately had to drop out of the marathon on the 16th mile. The 43-year-old needed to finish as one of the top two women to qualify for London’s World Championships in August.
In the men’s marathon, all the talk beforehand was on Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele who holds the current 5,000 and 10,000m world records. However, after Sunday all the talk was on Kenya’s Daniel Wanjiru who won the race in two hours five minutes and 56 seconds.
The 24-year-old looked to be challenged by Bekele in the final stages but remained poised throughout and eventually picked up enough pace to win by nine seconds.
Scotland’s Robbie Simpson was the fastest Briton to finish in the elite men’s marathon finishing in two hours 15 minutes and four seconds. Simpson was followed seven seconds later by fellow British long-distance runner Andrew Davies.
Both runners completed the marathon in the required time to secure their places in the Team GB squad for the World Championships.
Ballot entry for next years London Marathon opens on Monday May 1 until Friday May 5. It’s a random draw – so best of luck!
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