Hendrick Ramaala ran to sixth spot in yesterday’s New York City Marathon.
Winner of the gruelling marathon five years ago, the South African athlete clocked 2hr 12min 31sec in a race won by Meb Keflezighi in a personal best 2:09:15.
Born in Eritrea, and schooled in Italy, 34-year-old Keflezighi went to college in San Diego and became an American citizen.
He became the first American to win the New York marathon since 1982 when Alberto Salazaar took the honours.
Keflezighi placed second to Ramaala in 2004 and yesterday broke away from Kenyan Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot with just a few miles to run.
Cheruiyot ran 2:09:56 with former world champion Jaouad Gharib of Morocco, third in 2:10:25.
“It’s very emotional,” said Keflezigh, who still lives in San Diego. “I am just thrilled to be able to win my first marathon ever at the place where I started and on a PR, wearing the USA jersey, it can’t get any better. It’s just sweet.”
The women’s race went to former world and Olympic 10,000 metres champion Derartu Tulu, 37, of Ethiopia.
Tulu, who beat South Africa’s Elana Meyer in the Olympic 10,000m in Barcelona in 1992, won in 2:28.52 after pulling away from Russia’s Ludmila Petrova in the last 400m.
Favourite and world record holder Paula Radcliffe of Britain finished fourth, struggling across the line behind France’s Christelle Daunay after setting the pace for much of the race.
Radcliffe, competing in her first marathon since winning here last year for the third time, was in some discomfort as she finished, saying a hamstring injury had hampered her the race.
“It was really sore. I couldn’t hardly pick up my leg. I was just obviously annoyed and disappointed because I kind of started the race to win it,” she said.
Tulu is the first Ethiopian woman to win the New York marathon. “I didn’t really expect to win but I did know that I could be a good competitor,” she said.
1. Meb Keflezighi, United States, 2 hours, 9 minutes, 15 seconds, 2. Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot, Kenya, 2:09:56.ÔÇ¿3, Jaouad Gharib, Morocco, 2:10:25, ÔÇ¿4. Ryan Hall, United States, 2:10:36, 5. Abderrahime Bouramdane, Morocco, 2:12:14, 6, Hendrick Ramaala, South Africa, 2:12:31, 7. Jorge Torres, United States, 2:13:00, ÔÇ¿8. Nick Arciniaga, United States, 2:13:4, ÔÇ¿9. Abdi Abdirahman, United States, 2:14:00, 10. Jason Lehmkuhle, United States, 2:14:39.
1. Derartu Tulu, Ethiopia, 2:28:52, 2. Ludmila Petrova, Russia, 2:29:00, 3. Christelle Daunay, France, 2:29:16, 4. Paula Radcliffe, Britain, 2:29:27, 5. Salina Kosgei, Kenya, 2:31:53, ÔÇ¿6. Magdalena Lewy Boulet, United States, 2:32:17, ÔÇ¿7. Buzunesh Deba, United States, 2:35:54, ÔÇ¿8. Serkalem Biset Abrha, United States, 2:37:20, 9. Yuri Kano, Japan, 2:39:05, ÔÇ¿10. Desiree Ficker, United States, 2:39:30.