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Page last updated at 11:50 GMT, Sunday, 26 April 2009 12:50 UK

Samuel Wanjiru

Video - Wanjiru sets London marathon record

Olympic champion Samuel Wanjiru held his nerve to win the men's London marathon in a new course record time of two hours five minutes, nine seconds.

The Kenyan, 22, battled with Ethiopian Tsegay Kebede to take the win after he finished second last year.

"I am very happy to see I got the course record, maybe next year I will break the world record," said Wanjiru.

Olympic bronze medallist Kebede finished second while silver-medallist Jaouad Gharib finished in third.

The first British male across the line was Andy Jones who finished in a personal best 2:15.20, quick enough to hand him 13th place overall.


With 2008 champion Martin Lel ruled out because of a hip injury, fellow Kenyan Wanjiru was pre-race favourite to take the win after he finished nine seconds behind Lel in a sprint finish up the Mall last year.

And it was Wanjiru who led the field from the start as the pace setters started at blistering speed, running 45 seconds below world record pace after 45 minutes.

By the mid-way point Ethiopian legend Haile Gebrselassie's six-month-old world record of 2:03.59 looked like it could be in serious danger.

Wanjiru aiming for world record next time

"From the start the pace was good but the last 10km were very hard, the course was up and down and I ran alone," Wanijuru commented.

The three Olympic medallists Kebede, Wanjiru and Gharib pulled away to battle it out after 18 miles, still on pace to set run a world record time, but the early pace began to take a toll as the three slowed.

Wanjiru and Kebede battled it out over the final three miles until finally Wanjiru burst clear to cross the line in the seventh fastest marathon time ever run.

Kebede followed him in second with Moroccan Gharib in third, both finishing in personal best times.

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see also
Athletics on the BBC
21 Apr 11 |  Athletics

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