By Peter Hall
(Reuters) – Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei improved on last year’s second place to win her first London Marathon title on Sunday, finishing ahead of reigning champion Vivian Cheruiyot, with fellow Kenyan and three-times winner Mary Keitany down in fifth.
Chicago Marathon champion Kosgei opened up a commanding lead over pre-race favourites Keitany and Cheruiyot and impressively pulled away from the star-studded field to win in a personal best time of two hours, 18 minutes and 20 seconds — — over a second ahead of Cheruiyot in second and Ethiopia’s Roza Dereje in third.
The race got off to a slow start with the field going for the women’s only world record, without the aid of male pacemakers.
The pace at the 15-km mark was exactly four minutes down on that set by Keitany when she broke the women’s only world record in the 2017 London Marathon.
Yet it started to pick up as Cheruiyot ran a 5:08 15th mile out in front.
(Reporting by Peter Hall; Editing by Toby Davis)