London, April 23 (IANS) Kenya’s Mary Keitany broke the 12-year-old world record at the women-only London Marathon here on Sunday. The 35-year-old clocked 2:17:01 hours at the IAAF Gold Label Road Race, taking 41 seconds off the previous mark of 2:17:42 set by Britain’s Paula Radcliffe in 2005.
The 2009 world half-marathon champion set off on her own with just a pacemaker for company in the early stages, passing 5km in 15:31, 10km in 31:17 and half way in 1:06:54. Her pace in the first half suggested a finish time faster than the world record of 2:15:25, set by Radcliffe in a mixed marathon in 2005, reports Xinhua news agency.
At 30km she was 78 seconds ahead of second-placed three-time Olympic gold medallist Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia and held on to her lead and charged down The Mall to win in 2:17:01, the second-fastest time in history.
Dibaba, who overcame stomach cramps just a few kilometres from the finish, finished strong to take second place in 2:17:56, moving to third on the world all-time list. Her compatriot Aselefech Mergia came third in 2:23:08.
In the men’s race, Kenya’s Daniel Wanjiru took the title in 2:05:48, ahead of Ethiopian legend Kenenisa Bekele (02:05:57) and London Marathon debutant Bedan Karoki of Kenya (02:07:41).