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Lel in shock London win

Martin Lel -Source: Akins Foto London Yomi Omogbeja (17/04/2005)

Kenya's Martin Lel held off world-class opposition to win the 2005 Flora London Marathon.

The 26-year-old, smashed his personal best in winning in 2:07.26 - the fastest in the world so far this year by 15 seconds.

World champion Jaquad Gharib of Morocco improved on his third place finish last year crossing the finish line in 2:07.49 with South Africa's New York champion Hendrick Ramaala was third in a personal best 2:08.32.

Pre-race favourite and world record holder Paul Tergat was a disappointing eighth in 2:11:38, while defending champion Evans Rutto finished 10th in 2:12:49.

Last year's champion Evans Rutto was the first of the men's contenders to drop off the leading group and after 40 kms, Martin Lel led by 14 seconds from Jaouard Gharib and South Africa's Hendrik Ramaala.

Morroccan Jaouard Gharib tried to chase him down but the Kenyan changed pace dramatically to win by 23 seconds.

Lel last won a major title was two years ago in New York.

In the women's race flagged off by Ethiopia's Haile Gebrselassie Kenyan Susan Chepkemei and Margaret Okayo paid dearly for sticking too close to Briton Paula Radcliffe in the first half of the race and finished in a disappointing third and fourth places.

Chepkemei, second to Radcliffe in New York last November, finished over six minutes behind the Brit in 2:24:00, while defending champion Okayo was fourth in 2:25:22.

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International Amateur Athletics Federation

Kenya Athletics

Flora London Marathon


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Last updated: 17-Apr-2005 2:30 PM

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