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Sunday, 14 April, 2002, 11:04 GMT 12:04 UK
Khannouchi breaks world record
World record holder Khalid Khannouchi
Khannouchi put on a record-breaking display
Khalid Khannouchi overcame one of the strongest fields ever assembled to win the 22nd London Marathon in a new world-record time.

Khannouchi's victory came shortly after Paula Radcliffe set a sensational time to win the women's race.

In the fastest ever challenge at the London Marathon, Khannouchi beat his own record mark to clinch victory in a time of two hours 5.38 minutes.

The Moroccan-born American finished ahead of Kenyan Paul Tergat and Ethiopian great Haile Gebrselassie, who made his much-awaited marathon debut.


Mentally I was a bit tougher than the others
Khalid Khannouchi
Khannouchi, who set the previous world record of 2:05:42 in 1999, broke his opponents on the final two miles.

"Thank God I had the strength at the end to take it," he said after the run of his life.

Gebrselassie had initially set a tough opening pace and looked on course to win in record style.

But the leading pack that included old track rival Tergat and record-holder Khannouchi held on to make it a tantalizing finale.

Then as the runners approached the final gruelling stages, Gebrselassie suddenly ran into trouble, allowing Khannouchi and Tergat to pull away.

Khannouchi kept up the pressure leaving Tergat to settle for second place with a time of 2:05:48.

Haile Gebrselassie
Gebrselassie fell behind on the final two miles
Gebrselassie grabbed third, making a record debut run of 2:06:35, while two-time London winner Abdelkader El Mouaziz was fourth.

But it was Khannouchi's race and after crossing the finish line, he dropped to the ground and kissed the asphalt and then said a quick prayer.

Khannouchi said afterwards that he had not let Gebrselassie's blistering opening pace fluster him.

"I was a little worried at the start, but in the middle the pace seemed easier to follow.

"Mentally I was a bit tougher than the others."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's John Rawling
"Khannouchi ran the fastest ever marathon"
USA's Khalid Khannouchi
"Mentally I was tougher than the others"
BBC Sport's Mike Bushell
Reviews the London Marathon action
BBC Sport Online's guide to the London Marathon

In-depth coverage

Winners in focus

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Marathon sportstalk

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See also:

14 Apr 02 | Photo Galleries
14 Apr 02 | London Marathon 2002
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