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‘My throat was burning:’ Kiptum on maiden London win



By Wanja Waweru

Kelvin Kiptum, the newly crowned winner of the London Marathon, admitted that he missed a water station at the 30th kilometer mark and that he used a blistering speed to get to the next station when his throat was burning, which helped him win the race amid the streets of the British capital.

“I had not planned to break off (from the rest of the competitors) at the 30 kilometre mark. I missed my water bottle at the water station, and I decided to run faster to the next station because my throat was burning,” the 23-year-old Kiptum, who was making his debut in the World Marathon Majors said.

Kiptum went to London as the third fastest man in the history of the marathon, and left as the second fastest only behind Eliud Kipchoge, prompting comparisons with the world marathon record holder.

His surge to the next water station to quench his thirst yesterday after missing the 30km station with 12 kilometres to go propelled the 23-year-old to a course record in London Marathon, something that was least expected in the poor weather forecast.

He blew away the field to win in the British capital in two hours, one minute and 25 seconds yesterday, the second fastest time ever in the history of the marathon.

Kipchoge’s course record of 2:02:37 was broken by Kiptum, and he also came near to breaking Kipchoge’s global marathon record, missing by only 18 seconds.

And what a moment for Kiptum to triumph, considering that many believe Kipchoge’s reign may be coming to an end after finishing sixth in the Boston Marathon on Monday as renowned Ethiopian racer Kenenisa Bekele stumbled through the streets of London.

Geoffrey Kamworor, a three-time world half marathon champion who runs with Golazo Management, finished in second place but ran a personal best 2:04:23, breaking his previous performance by one minute.

World marathon champion Tamirat Tola of Ethiopia came third in 2:04:59.

Kiptum and Kamworor now hope that their performances speak for themselves ahead of Team Kenya naming for the World Athletics Championships scheduled for August 19 to 27, this year in Budapest, Hungary.

Kiptum, who went into London as third fastest man in marathon history after Kipchoge (2:01:09) and Kenenisa Bekele (2:01:41), ran the second half of the race in 59:45, the fastest ever in London.

“I didn’t realise that I had gone under two hours and two minutes after crossing the linor that I had ran the fastest second half ever. It’s quite an incredible performance,” Kiptum said.

“We ran the first half of the race under rains and strong head winds but the following half looked better.” said Kiptum.

“We had been forewarned about the showers and my target was to run perhaps sub-04 or sub-03, not another sub-2:02,” said Kiptum, adding that the world record was not in his mind but the strong field he was up against also played a part in his victory.

“This is the first time in almost a year that I have trained without an injury, my dream was to finish the race in personal best, and I did that. The future looks bright,” said Kamworor, who finished fifth during the world championships in Oregon, USA last year.

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