Nairobi — Running the last seven kilometres with a wide smile on her face, world record holder Birigid Kosgei put down an assured performance to clinch her second London Marathon title, stopping the clock in 2:18:58.
Kosgei put daylight between herself and world champion Ruth Chepngetich in tough wet conditions in the British capital, with the latter losing out second place in the final 500m with a sprint finish from American Sarah Hall.
The world champion had looked all set and destined for second spot, but she looked to have depleted all her energy as American Hall sprinted away from her to set a new personal best time with the finish line in sight.
The American stopped the clock in 2:22.01, 3.03 ahead of Chepngetich who timed 2:22:05.
Kosgei looked comfortable in the race despite the tough conditions at the St. James’ Park bio-secure circuit and pulled away from Chepngetich at the 30km mark and never looked back, stepping on the gas peddle to secure her second victory in London.
The two stuck side by side with pace maker Vivian Kiplagat just a yard ahead of them. They passed the halfway mark in 68:03 and looked well on course for world record pace.
However, that hope quickly fazed away as the second half of the race pulled down in pace and at the 26km mark, Kosgei began to surge. She did the next kilometer split at 5.28 with Chepngetich responding. However, she could only do so for a bit of time.
At the 30km mark, the world record holder pulled away and crossed the 35km mark in 01:55:00 with a healthy 46-second gap ahead of Chepngetich. Between the 30km and 335km mark, Kosgei ran a sizzling split of 16:42.
With victory smelling in sight, Kosgei began pulling a wide smile on her face. With no spectators to cheer her on due to Covid-19 restrictions, the surety that a second title was in the bag gave her enough push to glide to the finish line.