CHICAGO (AFP) - Two-time men's world champion Abel Kirui denied Dickson Chumba a second straight Chicago Marathon title, seizing a narrow lead in the closing kilometres and holding on for the win in the Windy City on Sunday.
Kirui, the 2012 Olympic silver medallist, won in 2hr 11min 23sec with Chumba second in 2:11:26 and Gideon Kipketer third in 2:12:20.
While Chumba was unable to repeat his 2015 triumph, Kenya's Florence Kiplagat won her second straight Chicago crown, powering to a dominant victory in 2:21:32, almost two seconds ahead of runner-up Edna Kiplagat's 2:23:28.
Valentine Kipketer completed the Kenyan women's sweep, finishing third in 2:23:41.
In a men's race that in the absence of a pace-setter featured erratic surges in speed, a trio of Kenyans - Chumba, Kipketer and Kirui - broke away late from a group of 13.
With 2km remaining, Chumba and Kirui were jockeying for the lead before Kirui, running in Chicago for the first time, made a decisive move to capture his first victory in one of the six Word Marathon Majors.
There was no such drama for women's half-marathon world record-holder Florence Kiplagat, who powered home all alone, giving a quick victory dance after crossing the line and embracing her training partner Kirui.
"When I was coming here I was determined to win because I just wanted to win twice," said the winner, who didn't approach her personal best of 2:19:44 set in Berlin in 2011 but who bettered the 2:23:33 she ran in Chicago last year.
Kirui was delighted with his Chicago debut. "It's wonderful, amazing," he said.