Four-time South African Olympian Hendrick Ramaala raced to a courageous fifth in the London Marathon.
But the South African had no answer to Kenya’s Sammy Wanjiru, who won in a course record time of 2hr 5min 10sec. The 22-year-old beat the London record time of 2:05:15 set by compatriot Martin Lel, last year’s winner, who withdrew on Saturday because of a hip injury.
Meanwhile defending champion Irina Mikitenko of Germany won the women’s race in a time of 2:22:11.
Wanjiru led home the first three from the Beijing Games, although in this race the minor placings were reversed, with the trio all finishing in personal best times. Ethiopian distance running great’s Haile Gebrselassie’s world record time of 2:03:59 set in Berlin in September seemed under threat, but Wanjiru could not sustain the blistering early pace and by the halfway stage the world record was no longer under threat.
Ethiopia’s Tsegaye Kebede, the bronze medallist in China, was second in 2:05:20 after pushing Wanjiru hard all the way while Morocco’s Jaouad Gharib finished in third in 2:05:27.
1. Sammy Wanjiru (KEN) 2hrs 05 mins 10 sec
2. Tsegaye Kebede (ETH) 2:05:20
3. Jaouad Gharib (MAR) 2:05:27
4. Emmanuel Mutai (KEN) 2:06:53
5. Hendrick Ramaala (RSA) 2:07:44
6. Abderrrahim Goumri (MAR) 2:08:25
7. Yonas Kifle (ERI) 2:08:28
8. Atsushi Sato (JPN) 2:09:16
9. Meb Keflezighi (USA) 2:09:21
10. Felix Limo (KEN) 2:09:47
1. Irina Miktenko (GER) 2hrs 22mins 11sec
2. Mara Yamauchi (GBR) 2:23:12
3. Liliya Shobukova (RUS) 2:24:24
4. Svetlanka Zakharova (RUS) 2:25:06
5. Berhane Adere (ETH) 2:25:30
6 Ingia Abitova (RUS) 2:25:55
7. Catherine Ndereba (KEN) 2:26:22
8. Tomo Morimoto (JPN) 2:26:29
9. Gete Wami (ETH) 2:26:54
10. Lyudmila Petrova (RUS) 2:27:42