Athletics: Biwott and Keitany win in Kenyan sweep at New York marathon

Stanley Biwott and Mary Keitany embrace after winning their divisions in the New York marathon.
Stanley Biwott and Mary Keitany embrace after winning their divisions in the New York marathon.AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) - Stanley Biwott notched the biggest win of his career on Sunday in the New York City Marathon, where fellow Kenyan Mary Keitany triumphed for the second straight year.

Biwott, 29, broke away from his rivals in a leading quartet in the final two miles in Central Park to win in 2hr 10min 34sec.

Kenya’s Geoffrey Kamworor was second and Ethiopian Lelisa Desisa third.

“The pace was slow, but the last three miles I pushed it up,” said Biwott, who was second in the 2014 London Marathon and fifth in New York in 2013.

Kamworor, the world cross country champion and world silver medallist in the 10,000 meters, came home in 2:10:48 while Desisa clocked 2:12:10.

Defending champion Wilson Kipsang was fourth – another disappointment for the former world record holder in a season that saw him beaten into second place in London and forced to abandon at the World Championships.

In contrast, Keitany was even more impressive this year in her title defence through the five boroughs of the Big Apple.

The 33-year-old clocked 2:24:25 to became the eighth woman to win multiple New York titles and the first two win back-to-back editions since Britain’s Paula Radcliffe in 2007 and 2008.

Ethiopia’s Aselefech Mergia was second in 2:25:32 and Ethiopian Tigist Tufa – winner of the London Marathon in April – was third in 2:25:50.

In four starts in New York, Keitany has always been on the podium, finishing third in 2010 and 2011.

After winning by three seconds last year, she used a strong move between the 21st and 22nd miles to make sure things weren’t so close this time.

She was part of a nine-woman group led by Portugal’s Sara Moreira that were went through the halfway mark in 1:12:54.

They were still together at 18 miles before the pace began to pick up.

By 20 miles the lead group was down to Keitany and fellow Kenyan Priscah Jeptoo along with Tufa and Mergia.

Keitany surged through the 21st mile, and powered into the finishing stage in Central Park all alone.

The double is Keitany’s second in one of the world’s top marathons. She won in London in 2011 and 2012.