Hellen Obiri leads Kenya's Boston Marathon sweep

Hellen Obiri crosses the Boston Marathon finishing line.[Courtesy,X]

Kenya’s Hellen Obiri secured her second consecutive victory at the Boston Marathon, crossing the finish line in 2:22:37 and leading a Kenyan sweep of the podium.

Obiri, a two-time world 5000m champion, once again demonstrated her versatility and stamina in only her fourth career marathon race.

The women's race started with a pack of 20 athletes staying together through the first half of the race, conserving energy for the challenging miles ahead.

At the 30km mark, the field began to thin out as contenders like Obiri, Sharon Lokedi, and Edna Kiplagat pushed ahead. By the time they reached 35km, only 12 runners remained in contention.

Obiri, alongside Lokedi and Kiplagat, broke away from the pack, establishing a formidable lead.

Despite the pressure, Lokedi stayed within striking distance of Obiri, showcasing her strength and determination as a relatively new marathon runner. However, it was Obiri’s seasoned experience and finishing prowess that ultimately propelled her to victory.

As the runners approached the final kilometers, Obiri accelerated, leaving Lokedi behind to secure her third marathon win in a remarkable time of 2:22:37.

Lokedi, also relatively inexperienced in marathon running, displayed impressive resilience to claim second place in 2:22:45. Edna Kiplagat completed the Kenyan podium sweep, finishing third in 2:23:21.

Reflecting on her triumph, Obiri expressed her joy and satisfaction, acknowledging the strength of her competitors.

"I knew that Sharon was very strong so I tried my best at the end," Obiri commented after the race. "To win here makes me so very happy."

The victory marked Obiri’s third consecutive World Marathon Majors triumph, underscoring her growing dominance in long-distance road racing.

Her meticulous training and trust in her preparations were evident throughout the race, culminating in a well-deserved victory on the iconic Boston course.

In the men's race, Ethiopia’s Sisay Lemma surged to victory, denying defending champion Kenya’s Chebet a successful title defense. Lemma’s impressive performance, finishing in 2:06:17, highlighted the fierce competition at this year's Boston Marathon.

Overall, the 2024 Boston Marathon showcased thrilling competition and remarkable achievements, with Obiri’s back-to-back triumphs serving as a testament to her exceptional talent and determination on the global stage of distance running. [Additional reporting by World Athletics]

By AFP 1 hr ago
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