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Last Updated: Sunday, 6 November 2005, 18:50 GMT
Tergat wins thrilling NY marathon
Paul Tergat
Tergat claimed only his second major marathon victory
Paul Tergat held off the challenge of defending champion Hendrick Ramaala to win the New York Marathon in the closest finish in the race's history.

The Kenyan's winning time was two hours nine minutes, 29.9 seconds, one third of a second ahead of Ramaala, who fell to the ground after crossing the line.

Meb Keflizighi came third as the 24-year wait for an American winner in the race continued.

Jelena Prokopcuka beat Susan Chepkemei and Derartu Tulu in the women's race.

With four miles to go, the women's race looked like a straight battle between Chepkemei and Tulu, with Prokopcuka having fallen off the pace.

But as the race entered Central Park the Latvian caught up with the leaders and her increased momentum coincided with Chepkemei running out of energy.

I was beaten by a big champion - I'd love to race Paul again
Hendrick Ramaala
With half a mile to go, Prokopcuka broke clear, condemning Chepkemei to a second successive runner-up spot in the race.

Britain's Alice Braham, a former junior track star, scored a creditable 22nd place.

A BBC producer, she was an amateur entry to New York having debuted in the marathon in London with a time of 2:45.

The elite runner's department saw her time and invited her to join the professional race and Braham clocked 2:46:47.

Britain's Jon Brown finished ninth in the men's event for his eighth top-10 finish in a major marathon, but John Mayock's debut at the distance was not a happy one as the 35-year-old retired from the race at the 30-kilometre mark.

Ramaala said he hoped to get his own back on Tergat next year in London.

"I was beaten by a big champion. I'd love to race Paul again. I know he is running in London and I think Gebre (Haile Gebrselassie) will be there too so I want to be there for sure."

Tergat also had the date etched in his mind when he was asked about his future plans, saying: "I don't know where my next race but I know I will run the London marathon."


New York marathon men's result:

1 Paul Tergat (Ken) 2hr 09min 29.9 sec
2 Hendrick Ramaala (RSA) 2:09:31
3 Meb Keflezighi (USA) 2:09:56
4 Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot (Ken) 2:11:01
5 Abdihakim Abdiramam (USA) 2:11:24

New York marathon women's result:

1 Elena Prokopcuka (Lat) 2hr 24min 41 sec
2 Susan Chepkemei (Ken) 2:24:55
3 Derartu Tulu (Eth) 2:25:21
4 Salina Kosgei (Ken) 2:25:30
5 Bruna Genovese (It) 2:27:15




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