Kenya’s Keitany, Ethiopia’s Desisa win in New York Marathon

WASHINGTON, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) — Kenya’s Mary Keitany and Ethiopia’s Lelisa Desisa turned in stunning performances to win the women’s and men’s titles respectively at the New York Marathon on Sunday.

Keitany dominated the women’s field with a breathtaking display of distance running, coming home more than three minutes clear of her closest pursuer in 2:22:48 to win her fourth title in New York.

The 36-year-old clocked a stunning 1:06:58 for the second half of the race to come home in splendid isolation.

“I didn’t want to rush at the beginning to suffer at the end,” said Keitany, who won in 2014, 2015 and 2016 before this year’s race. “I wanted to be comfortable so I could be strong at the finish.”

Behind Keitany, Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya had to be content with a runner-up spot in 2:26:02 after struggling with a variety of injuries.

“I am happy to be second today,” said Cheruiyot, four-time Olympic medalist and this year’s London Marathon champion. “I had a hamstring injury and knee and calf injuries so I was running in pain throughout.”

Shalane Flanagan of the United States was highly emotional as she reached the finish line in third place. The defending champion battled strongly in the closing miles to get herself on the podium by clocking 2:26:22.

“I’m proud that I kept fighting even though there were some tough moments there,” said Flanagan. “I’ve had an unbelievable time competing here.”

The men’s race was a far more competitive affair, with the winner in doubt until the final sprint in Central Park. Desisa ultimately prevailed to claim his first title with a powerful finish, with the Ethiopian edging his compatriot Shura Kitata to win by two seconds in 2:05:59.

“I am very, very satisfied to be the champion. I have finished on the podium before and this time I trained so hard, but with everything under control. Today is my day. Thank you, New York,” Desisa said.

Ethiopia’s Kitata was second with 2:06:01, with defending champion Geoffrey Kamworor having to settle for third in 2:06:26. “I’m really happy to finish on the podium,” said Kamworor. “I tried my best and gave it my all.”

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