EVANS Chebet capped a brilliant Kenyan win at the world’s major marathons with a superb win at the New York Marathon on Sunday as her compatriot Sharon Lokedi took the women’s crown in her first long distance race.
Chebet – who also won the Boston marathon in April – patiently waited for Brazilian leader Daniel do Nascimento to implode before tying in the lead at the 20-mile mark.
The 33-year-old seemed in complete control of the closing stages, and confidently held off Ethiopia’s Shura Kitata’s challenge to win in a time of 2 hours 08 minutes 41 seconds.
Kitata finished in second place, 13 seconds back, while Abdi Nageeye of the Netherlands was third.
Chebet’s victory means Kenyan runners have won all six of this year’s major marathons – the first time since the circuit was expanded to include the Tokyo Marathon in 2013.
“Boston was actually tougher, but it was good preparation to win in New York,” Chebet told ESPN after his win over an interpreter.
The men’s race had gotten off to a dramatic start as the Brazilian do Nascimento flew off the field early on at a pace that always looked like an untenable one.
The 24-year-old from Sao Paulo covered half of the course in a breathtaking 1:01:22 – putting him firmly on course for a course record.
But although he was leading by more than two minutes at the 15-mile mark, he began to slow down as Chebet broke away from the chasing group to give chase.
Do Nascimento made a portable toilet break at the 18-mile mark, costing him 18 seconds, and then collapsed at the 20th mile, stopping and walking before collapsing to the ground where he needed treatment from paramedics.
Chebet passed the Brazilian when he was injured and never looked back on a win. He became the first man to win both the Boston and New York Marathons in the same season since 2011.
In addition to winning the men’s race, Chebet’s win also completed a Kenyan double in New York after debutant Lokedi won the women’s race.
Lokedi showed excellent tactical performance to win in a time of 2:23:23.
The 28-year-old bided her time after pulling away a few miles from the finish alongside 2022 World Champion Gotytom Gebreslase of Ethiopia and World Championship bronze medalist Lonah Salpeter of Israel.
After Gebreslase was dropped off en route through Central Park, a duel ensued between Lokedi and Salpeter.
Lokedi picked up the pace in the final mile to create a gap of about 20 yards before charging home to take the tape.
“I’m at a loss for words, so happy, really excited – I just won,” Lokedi said afterwards.
“I do not know what to say. I’m so happy to have made it here – it’s just a great day, a great race. The track was fantastic, the cheering, everything, I’m just grateful.”
Salpeter was second in 2:23:30, Gebreslase was third.
This year’s New York Marathon marks the first time since 2019 that the race will be run at full capacity, with an estimated 50,000 runners taking part.
The race was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic and significantly scaled down in 2021. – AFP