Kenya's Vivian Cheruiyot celebrates winning the elite women's race of the 2018 London Marathon on April 22, 2018. AFP PHOTO Kenya's Vivian Cheruiyot celebrates winning the elite women's race of the 2018 London Marathon on April 22, 2018. AFP PHOTO
By STEVEN OMONDI and AFP

Olympic 5,000m champion Vivian Cheruiyot on Sunday claimed the London Marathon title in brilliant fashion running the last 5km on her own for her very first victory at a World Major Marathon.

Cheruiyot upstaged the defending champion and pre-race favourite Mary Keitany in stunning fashion coming a long way from behind to surge ahead with less than 7km to go.

Her winning time of 2:18:31 is the fourth fastest in history but fell short of Paula Radcliffe’s world record of 2:15:25 set in 2003.

Brigid Kosgei, also of Kenya, came in second in a personal best time of 2:20:13 followed by Ethiopia’s Tadelech Bekele (2:21:40) and Gladys Cherono (2:24:10), while early leader Keitany finished fifth 2:24:27.

Kenya's Vivian Cheruiyot crosses the finish line to win the elite women's race of the 2018 London Marathon in central London. AFP PHOTO

Kenya’s Vivian Cheruiyot crosses the finish line to win the elite women’s race of the 2018 London Marathon in central London. AFP PHOTO

WORLD RECORD

Cheruiyot, 34, took advantage of failed attempts to break Paula Radcliffe’s 15-year-old world record by last year’s winner Keitany and runner-up Tirunesh Dibaba.

In unusually warm conditions in the British capital first Dibaba and then Keitany dropped off the pace, allowing the 2016 Olympic 5,000m gold medallist to claim victory.

After nine miles Keitany and main rival Dibaba were 25 seconds ahead of Radcliffe’s time. But Dibaba was soon reduced to a walking pace to leave Keitany with only her two male pacemakers for company.

Keitany, looking for a fourth win in London, also started to slow down as it became apparent Radcliffe’s record of two hours 15 minutes 25 seconds would not be threatened.

Results:

1. Vivian Cheruiyot (Kenya) 2:18:31

2. Brigid Kosgei (Kenya) 2:20:13

3. Tadelech Bekele (Ethiopia) 2:21:40

4. Gladys Cherono (Kenya) 2:24:10

5. Mary Keitany (Kenya) 2:24:27

6. Rose Chelimo (Bahrain) 2:26:03

7. Mare Dibaba (Ethiopia) 2:27:45

8. Lily Partridge (Great Britain) 2:29:24

9. Tracy Barlow (Great Britain) 2:32:09

10. Stephanie Bruce (USA) 2:32:28

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