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Tuesday, 17 April, 2001, 03:37 GMT 04:37 UK
South Korean wins Boston Marathon
Lee Bong-ju
Bong-ju has spent years clocking up the miles
Lee Bong-ju of South Korea won the 105th Boston Marathon on Monday, ending a 10-year winning-streak for Kenya.

Lee raised his fist to salute the crowd as he came down Boylston Street to finish in 2 hours, 9 minutes, 43 seconds.

Silvio Guerra of Ecuador was second, 24 seconds behind, and Kenya's Joshua Chelang'a came in third, 46 seconds off the pace.

The last Korean to win was Kee Yong-ham in 1950.


But he did far more than I had expected. A real feat
Former Boston winner Suh

Catherine Ndereba won the women's race for the second consecutive year and made sure the Kenyans kept the first place on the podium.

Ndereba finished in 2:23:53, almost three minutes ahead of Poland's Malgorzata Sobanska.

Lyubov Morgunova of Russia was third to cross the line, 36 seconds later.

Cloudy skies, low temperatures and little wind made good conditions for a marathon.

Because of the time difference, many South Koreans were unable to witness the triumph but words of congratulation soon arrived after the race.

"It is not only a personal victory, but also a real feat for our athletic circles, which are trying to recruit new young marathoners who will succeed him," said Lee Dae-won, head of South Korea's Athletics Association.

President Kim Dae-jung sent a congratulatory message to Lee, saying that the victory "has boosted the image of South Korea as a nation strong in the marathon."

The 1947 winner of the Boston race, Suh, said he could not help holding back tears when he heard of Lee's victory.

"I was 24 and Lee is 31, an age that could be a disadvantage. I thought that if he finished third, that would be fine. But he did far more than I had expected. A real feat," he said.

It was a great comeback for Lee, following his disappointment in Sydney where he tripped over another runner and finished 24th.


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