Records fall as Kenya's Lel wins London marathon

Other News Materials 13 April 2008 17:19 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - Martin Lel of Kenya set a new course record at the London Marathon Sunday to defend his title and win the race for the third time in four years.

Lel posted 2 hours 5 minutes and 15 seconds to beat fellow Kenyan Samuel Wanjiru (2:05:24) in a sprint finish, with Morocco's Abderrahim Goumri third in 2:05:30.

Lel at one point seemed to be on course to beat the world record time of 2:04:26 set by Ethiopia's Haile Gebrselassie in Berlin, but the leading group slowed in the closing stages.

However, the 29-year-old Lel was able to better the previous London best of 2:05.38 set by Khalid Khannounchi of the United States in 2002.

Germany's Irina Mikitenko meanwhile took the women's race on her London debut and in only her second marathon, setting a national record time of 2:24:14.

The 36-year-old Kazakhstan-born athlete beat Russia's Svetlana Zakharova (2:24:39) into second place, while Ethiopia's Gete Wami, the pre-race favourite, came in third in 2:25:37 despite a fall at a feeding station just before 30 kilometres.