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Page last updated at 11:59 GMT, Sunday, 25 April 2010 12:59 UK

Shobukhova wins London Marathon with Mara Yamauchi 10th

Russia's Liliya Shobukhova

Shobukhova wins women's London marathon

Russia's Liliya Shobukhova secured the London Marathon with a powerful run as Britain's Mara Yamauchi faded out of contention around halfway.

Yamauchi, who finished second last year, fell away to 10th as Shobukhova raised the pace over Tower Bridge.

The Japan-based 36-year-old had endured an arduous six-day journey to the race.

Shobukhova held off compatriot Inga Abitova and Ethiopia's Aselefech Mergia to secure victory in two hours 21 minutes and 59 seconds.

"We started off at the speed I expected and I was working hard to stick with it, but the journey here and the injury last year maybe proved too much," said Yamauchi.

"I just think maybe I was not as prepared as I was last year and after halfway I was pretty much on my own.

Britain's Mara Yamauchi sets sights on London 2010

"It was a really good field so I just have to go away and try again harder next year.

"I'm going to have a break and then do an autumn marathon and try and qualify for the Olympics. The time I did today was inside that so I just have to keep things on track."

Earlier Yamauchi made light of the drizzly conditions to follow a brisk early pace that proved too much for 2006 winner Deena Kastor who dropped away inside the first four miles.

Germany's Irina Mikitenko, the winner of the last two editions of the race, had struggled with her preparation and was out of contention by eight miles.

But as Shobukhova, the winner of last year's Chicago marathon, pushed the pace, Yamauchi was one of those who fell away as the leading group gradually thinned to four runners.

Mergia briefly looked ominous as she moved on to the leader's shoulder but Shobukhova, European record holder for 5,000m, proved she had the endurance to match her turn of speed.

"The pace was easy but I decided to push in the second half to break up the pack," said the Russian, who has won two of the three marathons she has run.

A gritty final burst from Abitova reeled in Mergia to take second.

see also
Kebede powers to London victory
25 Apr 10 |  Athletics
Weir suffers flat as Cassidy wins
25 Apr 10 |  Disability Sport
In pictures: London Marathon 2010
25 Apr 10 |  Things to do
Marathon runners set new records
25 Apr 10 |  London
Yamauchi ready for Marathon test
23 Apr 10 |  Athletics
Yamauchi aims for London Marathon glory
23 Apr 10 |  Athletics
Yamauchi arrives for London race
21 Apr 10 |  Athletics
Briton Yamauchi wins in New York
21 Mar 10 |  Athletics

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