Eliud Kipchoge stormed to his third London Marathon title on Sunday to complete an impressive Kenyan double after Vivian Cheruiyot dominated the women’s race in warm conditions.
Kipchoge, 33, saw off the challenge of Ethiopia’s Tola Shura Kitata and home favourite Mo Farah to win his third London marathon in four years in a time of 2 hrs 4 min 27 sec, finishing more than half a minute in front of Kitata (2:05:00), with Farah third (2:06:32).
Cheruiyot, 34, timed her run perfectly to win the women’s event in a time of 2 hours 18 min 31 secs ahead of compatriot Brigid Kosgei (2:20:13), and Ethiopia’s Tadelech Bekele (2:21:40).
She took advantage of failed attempts to break Paula Radcliffe’s 15-year-old world record by last year’s winner Mary Keitany and runner-up Tirunesh Dibaba.
In unusually warm conditions in the British capital first Dibaba and then Keitany dropped off the pace, allowing the 2016 Olympic 5,000m gold medallist to claim victory.
After nine miles Keitany and main rival Dibaba were 25 seconds ahead of Radcliffe’s time. But Dibaba was soon reduced to a walking pace to leave Keitany with only her two male pacemakers for company.
Keitany, looking for a fourth win in London, also started to slow down as it became apparent Radcliffe’s record of two hours 15 minutes 25 seconds would not be threatened.
Britain’s David Weir won the men’s wheelchair race for the eighth time after a thrilling sprint finish.
The 38-year-old pipped Switzerland’s Marcel Hug into second place, with Daniel Romanchuk of the United States third.
Bolt, who retired last year after dominating the sport for almost a decade, had joked to his countryman that he would not be able to return to Jamaica unless he won the title.
After Blake slumped to third in last Monday’s final on the Gold Coast, Bolt arrived in Australia looking to poke a little fun at his former team-mate.
“I know Usain is going to trouble me a lot because he expected me to get gold,” said Blake after taking bronze in the 4x100m relay.
“I’m going to hide from him when I go back home,” added Blake, confirming that Bolt had yet to catch up with him at the Commonwealth Games village.
“He tried to contact me but I hid my phone. I just wanted to focus on the 4x100m but I know he’s coming to see me later so I’m going to hide.”
But Blake, who bagged a world title in 2011 after Bolt false-started in the final, played down the significance of his surprise Commonwealth defeat by South Africa’s Akani Simbine.
“If everybody saw what happened, I slipped at the start and couldn’t recover,” he said.
“It was a pretty easy race for me to win – I was in record-breaking shape and I’m still in that shape. But sometimes a mistake can cost you.”
‘Odds against us’
Blake had very little opportunity to prove his point with a makeshift Jamaica team in the 4x100m final, where England and South Africa were too far in front by the time Warren Weir had passed him the baton.
“I knew the odds were against us coming in because some guys pulled out at the last minute,” he said, referring to the late withdrawal of former world record-holder Asafa Powell.
“For me, I was always playing catch-up on that last leg. But I feel great and I’m just looking forward to the season.”
Blake pulled no punches when asked about the state of Jamaican sprinting with Bolt now out of the picture.
“We were dominating for a while but we are going through a transition period,” he said.
“We have some great young guys but they haven’t been exposed as yet. We just hope they can get it fast.
“I’m not going to lie, it’s not that they are getting better – it’s that we’re not performing,” added Blake.
“If we were performing with the times we are running, they couldn’t stay with us.”
However, Blake acknowledged it will be almost impossible to fill Bolt’s shoes.
“That’s what I love about Usain – he’s a sportsman,” he said. “And somebody like him comes along once every 10 years in the sport.
“He’s just different – you can’t try to match that. As (world athletics boss) Sebastian Coe said ‘you can’t replace Muhammad Ali’ – so why replace a Bolt?”
Provided by AFP Sport
Wilson’s victory over Canadian Ryan Bester triggered the sort of wild scenes normally seen at a football match as the 26-year-old – nicknamed “Discotheque” for his penchant for visiting nightclubs — peeled off to soak in the adulation of the home crowd.
Sporting his lucky undies, the only thing missing from Wilson’s topless celebration was Ronaldo’s shredded six-pack.
“This is for Australia,” said Wilson, who admitted he had got the idea from countryman Kelvin Kerkow’s bare-chested jig of joy after winning bowls gold at the 2006 Melbourne Games.
“Obviously I couldn’t help myself when it came down to the moment – chucked the shirt off, didn’t know where it went, but it was all on the groove.”
Wilson, who took up bowls at 11 years old, beat Bester 21-14 to become only the third Australian to Commonwealth singles gold — before running around shirtless with unbridled joy as the crowd erupted.
The Australian wants to inject more passion into lawn bowls, a quintessentially British pastime more associated with cups of tea and cucumber sandwiches.
“Something we’re trying to do is build the culture with Bowls Australia, and I think we’ve done that really well,” said Wilson, calling for an all-for-one musketeer approach to the game.
“Anyone wins, we celebrate. Anyone loses we grieve for them, we’re all one team.”
Wilson’s celebration was not the only one that could be filed under “over-exuberant” at the Commonwealth Games on Friday.
Nigeria’s Blessing Oborududu celebrated her wrestling gold in the women’s 68-kilo freestyle wrestling by rolling around on the mat in joy as her beaten opponent Danielle Lappage looked on unamused.