Benson Kipruto leads a Kenyan clean podium sweep in Tokyo

Benson Kipruto leads Timothy Kiplagat and Vincent Kipkemoi in Kenya's podium sweep at the Tokyo Marathon. [Courtesy]

Benson Kipruto led Kenyan charges to a clean podium sweep at the 2024 Tokyo Marathon early Sunday morning.

Kipruto, a former Boston and Chicago marathon winner, shattered the Tokyo 42km course record in the process.

He was followed by compatriots Timothy Kiplagat and Vincent Ngetich in the 1-2-3 Kenyan dominance.

Kipruto ran 2:02:16 as Kiplagat and Ngetich stopped the timer at 2:02:55 and 2:04:18 respectively.

Double Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge, a pre-race favourite and previous course record holder came in tenth in the tough contest.

Kapsabet-based Kipruto shaved 24 seconds off the 2:02:40 course record set by Kipchoge in 2022.

Kipruto made the bold move after 30km, overpowering Kiplagat who was five seconds ahead of the chasing group.

The leading duo dropped Ngetich, the man who finished second behind Kipruto at last year's Berlin Marathon as they kicked away over the final 7km.

Kipruto unleashed a blistering speed in the last 5km, and Kiplagat couldn’t respond.

After the 15km mark, the leading pack including Kipchoge, Kipruto, Kiplagat and Ngetich were firmly behind three pacesetters.

Kipchoge however started to slow his tempo just before 20km and he was five seconds behind when the leaders crossed the water point in 57:14. He finished the race 2:06:50.

Kipchoge was returning to Japan where he won the second of his two Olympic marathon titles.

Kipruto took a chunk off his PB of 2:04:02 set when winning in Chicago in October 2022 to move to fifth on the world all-time list. Kiplagat also improved his best time by almost a minute.

Defending champion, Kenyan, Rosemary Wanjiru places second in the women's Tokyo Marathon. [Courtesy]

In the women's race, defending champion Rosemary Wanjiru placed second in a 2:16:14 personal best.

Ethiopian Sutume Kebede won the women's contest in 2:15:55 ahead of Wanjiru and her compatriot Amane Beriso (2:16:58).

The reigning London and Chicago Marathons champion Sifan Hassan placed fourth.

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