LONDON, (Reuters) – Double Olympic champion Mo Farah toiled on his highly-anticipated marathon debut with the Briton trailing in eighth as Kenyans Wilson Kipsang and Edna Kiplagat secured London titles on Sunday.
Farah, the world and Olympic 5,000 and 10,000 metres champion, was given a “tough” baptism by the world’s best – finishing almost four minutes behind world record holder Kipsang on a sunny morning in the capital.
The 32-year old Kenyan claimed a second London title with a course record two hours four minutes 29 seconds, pulling clear of compatriot Stanley Biwott who was 26 seconds back with Ethiopian Tsegaye Kebede third.
Edna Kiplagat won her first London title after finishing runner-up in the past two years, getting the better of compatriot Florence Kiplagat in the final 200 metres to win in two hours, 20 minutes and 21 seconds. The winner outkicked her namesake who finished three seconds behind after the pair had dropped debutant Tirunesh Dibaba, stepping up from the track where she enjoyed a glittering career. Ethiopian Dibaba, a three-time Olympic track champion, was still in contention when she blundered at a drinks station, stopping to pick up her dropped water bottle and losing valuable time on the front pair. “When my bottle fell, I tried to pick it up because it’s important to me,” she said after finishing third, 14 seconds behind the winner. “That made me lose lots of time with the lead runners. I was feeling pretty good but it’s difficult to lose so much time against top athletes.”
Last year’s London winner Priscah Jeptoo dropped out of the race at around the 25-km mark while Olympic champion Tiki Gelana finished ninth.