Ethiopian Desisa secures second Boston Marathon victory as Kenya’s Rotich wins battle for women’s title

There was a second victory for Lelisa Desisa and a women’s race win secured in a sprint finish for Caroline Rotich at the Boston Marathon on Monday.

The event again treated spectators to an exciting few hours of road race action, with the cheers from the many roadside supporters going up another notch as Americans Dathan Ritzenhein, Meb Keflezighi and Desiree Linden took their turns at the front of the leading packs.

As the men’s race reached the closing stages, 2013 winner Desisa made his intentions clear and began to pull away, eventually crossing the finish line in 2:09:17 to regain the Boston title 31 seconds clear of his fellow Ethiopian Yemane Tsegay Adhane.

Desisa had given his 2013 medal to the city after the deadly bombing that took place two years ago. In 2014 he failed to finish but the world marathon silver medallist returned to his winning ways a year later to add to a CV which also includes a win at the 2013 Dubai Marathon where he ran his 2:04:45 PB on his debut at the distance.

Kenya’s Wilson Chebet finished third in 2:10:22, while Ritzenhein clocked 2:11:20 for seventh, one place ahead of 2014 winner Keflezighi with 2:12:42.

While Desisa was a clear winner, the women’s race had come down to a sprint finish. Having sat behind Linden for a time in a lead pack also containing Ethiopians Mare Dibaba and Bizunesh Deba, Rotich was among the group of three to push the pace with a couple of miles remaining, but Linden worked her way back to the front. However, with just over a mile to go the trio of Rotich, Deba and Dibaba surged ahead before it was just Rotich and Dibaba in a battle for the line.

Neither seemed to be giving up and as one would pull away the other would reel them back in, before Rotich decided the time was right and strode on, clocking 2:24:55 to Dibaba’s 2:24:59.

Deba maintained her third place position, clocking 2:25:09, as Linden ran 2:25:39 for fourth, five spots ahead of her fellow American Shalane Flanagan with 2:27:47.

Switzerland’s Marcel Hug and American Tatyana McFadden had earlier dominated the wheelchair races, Hug clocking 1:29:53 to beat South Africa’s Ernst van Dyk with 1:36:27 and McFadden securing her third consecutive Boston Marathon victory in a time of 1:52:54. Britain’s Shelly Woods finished sixth with 2:05:14.

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