Kenyans sweep New York City Marathon for third straight year

Stanley Biwott, Mary Keitany
AP
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NEW YORK — Kenyans Stanley Biwott and Mary Keitany won the New York City Marathon on Sunday, marking the third straight year the distance-running power swept the 26.2-mile race.

Biwott, 29, notched the biggest victory of his career in his second New York appearance. He clocked 2 hours, 10 minutes, 34 seconds, and outlasted countryman Geoffrey Kamworor by 14 seconds, pulling away in the final two miles in Central Park.

Pre-race favorite and defending champion Wilson Kipsang of Kenya was fourth out of an unofficial 50,229 total starters.

Meb Keflezighi, the 2009 winner, placed seventh in 2:13:32 for his eighth top-10 in 10 New York appearances. Keflezighi, at 40 seeking next year to become the oldest U.S. Olympic runner of all time, broke the U.S. masters marathon record of 2:13:52.

Biwott, who worked on a dairy farm until 2006 and still owns 10 cows, finished fifth in his previous New York start in 2013. He won the 2012 Paris Marathon.

Keitany, 33, became the first woman to win back-to-back New York marathons since world-record holder Paula Radcliffe in 2007 and 2008.

She clocked 2:24:25, prevailing by 67 seconds over Ethiopian Asefelech Mergia. The top U.S. woman was Laura Thweatt, seventh in 2:28:23, the seventh-fastest time in New York history by an American woman.

In 2014, Keitany prevailed in New York by three seconds, tying the closest women’s finish ever, in her first marathon since giving birth to her second child. She placed fourth at the London Olympics and missed all of 2013 due to childbirth.

The fastest American woman coming into the race, 18-year-old Alana Hadley, dropped out a little past the halfway point. Hadley is too young to be eligible for the 2016 Olympic marathon.

The U.S. Olympic marathon trials are Feb. 13, live on NBC. The top three men’s and women’s finishers earn Rio spots.

“If I’m going to make the Olympic team, I better run a lot faster,” said Keflezighi, who has 104 days to recover before the trials in Los Angeles.

Keflezighi, a four-time Olympian and 2004 marathon silver medalist, won the 2012 Olympic trials in 2:09:08. The third-place finisher at the 2012 trials clocked 2:09:47 and fourth place was 2:09:55.

Even though Keflezighi’s 2:13:32 from Sunday is much slower than that, New York is known as a slower course. Keflezighi ran 2:13:18 in New York last year, in tougher weather conditions. He clocked a personal-best 2:08:37 to win Boston last year, which ranks him No. 2 among Americans across all marathons since he finished fourth at the London Olympics.

Thweatt, whose marathon debut time made her the seventh-fastest U.S. woman since the start of 2013, said she does not plan to race the marathon trials but focus on the U.S. Olympic track and field trials in July.

Tatyana McFadden, an 11-time Paralympic medalist, shattered the women’s wheelchair course record by 7 minutes, 20 seconds. McFadden clocked 1:43:04 for 26.2 miles, completing a sweep of Boston, Chicago, London and New York City marathons for a third straight year.

MORE TRACK AND FIELD: Kenya marathon runner-up arrested for cheating in race

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Olympian Derrick Mein ends U.S. men’s trap drought at shotgun worlds

Derrick Mein
Getty
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Tokyo Olympian Derrick Mein became the first U.S. male shooter to win a world title in the trap event since 1966, prevailing at the world shotgun championships in Osijek, Croatia, on Wednesday.

Mein, who grew up on a small farm in Southeast Kansas, hunting deer and quail, nearly squandered a place in the final when he missed his last three shots in the semifinal round after hitting his first 22. He rallied in a sudden-death shoot-off for the last spot in the final by hitting all five of his targets.

He hit 33 of 34 targets in the final to win by two over Brit Nathan Hales with one round to spare.

The last U.S. man to win an Olympic trap title was Donald Haldeman in 1976.

Mein, 37, was 24th in his Olympic debut in Tokyo (and placed 13th with Kayle Browning in the mixed-gender team event).

The U.S. swept the Tokyo golds in the other shotgun event — skeet — with Vincent Hancock and Amber English. Browning took silver in women’s trap.

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Mo Farah withdraws before London Marathon

Mo Farah
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British track legend Mo Farah withdrew before Sunday’s London Marathon, citing a right hip injury before what would have been his first 26.2-mile race in nearly two years.

Farah, who swept the 2012 and 2016 Olympic track titles at 5000m and 10,000m, said he hoped “to be back out there” next April, when the London Marathon returns to its traditional month after COVID moved it to the fall for three consecutive years. Farah turns 40 on March 23.

“I’ve been training really hard over the past few months and I’d got myself back into good shape and was feeling pretty optimistic about being able to put in a good performance,” in London, Farah said in a press release. “However, over the past 10 days I’ve been feeling pain and tightness in my right hip. I’ve had extensive physio and treatment and done everything I can to be on the start line, but it hasn’t improved enough to compete on Sunday.”

Farah switched from the track to the marathon after the 2017 World Championships and won the 2018 Chicago Marathon in a then-European record time of 2:05:11. Belgium’s Bashir Abdi now holds the record at 2:03:36.

Farah returned to the track in a failed bid to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, then shifted back to the roads.

Sunday’s London Marathon men’s race is headlined by Ethiopians Kenenisa Bekele and Birhanu Legese, the second- and third-fastest marathoners in history.

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