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Ninth win for Ernst

South Africa’s Ernst van Dyk out-sprinted fellow countryman Krige Schabort to win his ninth Boston Marathon men’s wheelchair title on Monday.

Paarl resident Van Dyk took the early lead and opened a gap, reports Sapa, but by halfway the pack had swallowed him up. He held on, however, and managed to haul the leaders in and kick past Schabort, who now lives in Cedartown, Georgia, US, in the finishing straight.

ÔÇ£The pack was going strong and by halfway I could see them coming like a train,ÔÇØ Van Dyk said. ÔÇ£Krige broke away and I tried to remain comfortable, but I was in fourth place for a long time.

ÔÇ£I slowly reeled them back in one by one, and I caught Krige with about a mile to go. I know I can sprint well and I got it,ÔÇØ added a delighted Van Dyk.

The 37-year-old Paralympic hand-cycling gold medallist won the Boston Marathon — the world’s oldest race over the classic distance, which was staged for the 114th time this year — six times in succession between 2001 and 2006, and after finishing third in 2007 returned to win the race another three years in a row.

Van Dyk won by four seconds in 1:26.53, with Schabort taking second in 1:26.57 and Kota Hokinoue of Japan placing third in 1:27.05.

The South African will now shift his focus towards winning the London Marathon for the first time on Sunday.

In the main road-running event, Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot of Kenya won and broke the course record.

That record was set in 2006 by four-time winner Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot, who’s not related.

Cheruiyot won this time in an unofficial time of 2 hours, 5 minutes, 52 seconds, finishing 91 seconds ahead of Tekeste Kebede of Ethiopia. Defending champion Deriba Merga was third, followed by Americans Ryan Hall and Meb Keflezighi.

Teyba Erkesso of Ethiopia won the women’s race in an unofficial time of 2:26:11, outsprinting Tatyana Pushkareva of Russia to win by three seconds in the third-closest women’s finish in event history.