Jeptoo takes women’s victory

Kenyan Priscah Jeptoo won the women’s race at the 2013 Virgin London Marathon as Scotland’s Susan Partridge smashed her PB to qualify for the IAAF World Champs

Priscah Jeptoo VLM 2013 (Mark Shearman)

So often the bridesmaid, Priscah Jeptoo tasted glory at last with an emphatic victory in the 2013 Virgin London Marathon.

The 28-year-old Kenyan was runner-up in the Olympics last year and the 2011 World Championships, while she also finished third in London last April.

But on Sunday she blasted clear of reigning world champion Edna Kiplagat in the closing stages to win in 2:20:15.

The race was marred when Olympic champion Tiki Gelana clashed with wheelchair racer Josh Cassidy just before the 10-mile mark and fell to the ground. It effectively took her out of the race, although she battled on gamely to finish 16th in 2:36:55.

With Gelana dropped, the Kiplagats from Kenya – Edna and Florence – forged ahead, together with Jeptoo. Much stronger in the closing stages, Jeptoo surged away to finish just one second outside her PB, with Edna Kiplagat clocking 2:21:32 in second.

Yukiko Akaba earned a surprise third place in 2:24:43, while Atsede Baysa of Ethiopia was fourth in 2:24:43.

Susan Partridge was the British performer of the day as she smashed her PB with 2:30:46. For the Scottish runner, who is now coached by UK record-holder Steve Jones, it was inside the qualifying standard for the IAAF World Championships in Moscow and also next year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

The 33-year-old went through halfway in 73:52 as she went on to smash her PB of 2:34:13 by more than three minutes.

Second Brit home was Amy Whitehead, who went through halfway in 74:49 before slowing in the second half to clock 2:34:14 – frustratingly outside her PB of 2:33:44.

Not far behind on the clock was Hayley Haining, the Scottish athlete clocking a fine 2:36:52 from the mass start.

Wheelchair races were won by Kurt Fearnley and Tatyana McFadden as Britons David Weir and Shelly Woods failed to make the podium. Weir especially will be disappointed as he was aiming to win a record seventh London Marathon title, but he finished fifth in a mass sprint-out down The Mall.

» The next issue of Athletics Weekly, out on Thursday April 25, features in-depth coverage from the 2013 Virgin London Marathon, including elite race coverage, wheelchair races, top age-group performances and Mini Marathon action.

 

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