Tuesday April 22, 2014
With the names of the four victims of the 2013 Boston Marathon attack written on his bib, on Monday Meb Keflezighi became the first American to win the iconic Boston event since Greg Meyer in 1983.
The 38-year-old Keflezighi, who emigrated from Eritrea at age 12, won the race in a personal best 2:08:37. On the women's side, Kenya's Rita Jeptoo won her third Boston title, finishing in a course record 2:18:57.
Keflezighi's biggest previous victories included the 2009 New York City Marathon and the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials. He also earned a silver medal at the 2004 Olympics. Keflezighi started Monday's race quickly, leading by as much as a minute shortly before the halfway mark. Kenyans Wilson Chebet (2:08:48) and Frankline Chepkwony (2:08:50) rallied toward the end but started from too far behind and had to settle for second and third place, respectively.
Another American, Shalane Flanagan, led the women's event early, but hopes for an American sweep faded as Flanagan dropped back about midway through the race. She eventually finished seventh in 2:22:02, the fastest Boston Marathon time ever posted by an American woman. Jeptoo took charge just after the halfway mark and maintained a secure lead for the rest of the race. The 2006 and 2013 Boston winner shattered the previous course record of 2:20:43 set by Margaret Okayo in 2002. The next three finishers also finished inside of Okayo's time, including Ethiopians Bezunesh Deba (2:19:59) and Mare Dibaba (2:20:35) plus Jemima Jelagat Sumgong of Kenya (2:20:41).
Wednesday April 16, 2014
Could the IAAF World Championships be returning to North America? The event has visited Canada once - with Edmonton playing host in 2001 - but Eugene, Oregon has placed a bid for the 2019 Championships. If successful, Eugene would bring the outdoor World Championships to the United States for the first time. The U.S. played host to the World Indoor Championships in 1987, while Toronto brought the World Indoors to Canada in 1993. The outdoor World Championships will be held in Beijing in 2015 and London in 2017. Doha, Qatar and Barcelona, Spain have also bid for the 2019 Championships. A decision is due in November.
Check out reviews of the 2014 World Indoor Championships men's and women's shot put and multi-events competitions.
Monday April 14, 2014
Two of the world's greatest distance runners - one British and one Ethiopian - made their marathon debuts in London on Sunday, but each was overshadowed by a pair of Kenyans.
Tirunesh Dibaba, a three-time Olympic gold medalist at 5,000 and 10,000 meters, ran with or near leaders all the way in the women's race before settling for third place. Kenya's Edna and Florence Kiplagat ran together over the final dozen kilometers, with two-time London runner-up Edna pulling away on the final straight to win in 2:20:21, with Florence following in 2:20:24 and Dibaba in 2:20:35.
Meanwhile, Mo Farah, who thrilled the British crowd by winning the 5,000 and 10,000 at the 2012 London Olympics, couldn't run with the men's leaders in Sunday's marathon. He also fell short of his goal - breaking Stephen Jones' British marathon record of 2:07:13. But it was still a record-setting day, as Kenya's Wilson Kipsang won the men's race in a course record 2:04:29. Kipsang broke Emmanuel Mutai's mark by 11 seconds to win his second London championship. Fellow Kenyan Stanley Biwott was second in 2:04:55, with 2013 London winner Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia third in 2:06:30. Farah finished eighth in 2:08:21.
In other marathon news on Sunday, Eliud Kipchoge overcame a heavy wind to earn the victory in Rotterdam, in 2:05:00. Abebech Afework battled both the weather and an early dropped water bottle mishap to take the women's race in 2:27:50. Getu Feleke broke the course record on his way to victory in Vienna, in 2:05:41, with Anna Hahner winning the women's event in 2:28:59.
Wednesday April 9, 2014
Kenenisa Bekele is one of the most successful distance runners of all time, with three Olympic gold medals, six World Championship golds - five outdoors and one indoor - plus 11 World Cross Country Championship gold medals. But he took on a new challenge last Sunday, as the 31-year-old ran his first marathon, in Paris, and won the race in a course record 2:05:04. Bekele wasn't challenged for about the last dozen kilometers - fellow Ethiopian Limenih Getachew eventually took second in 2:06:49 - but even without being pushed Bekele still posted the sixth-best marathon debut in history. Flomena Cheyech of Kenya won the women's race in 2:22:44.
The rarely-run 4 x 1500-meter relay has a new women's world record as of April 5. The Kenyan quartet of Anne Karingi, Margaret Chelimo, Eunice Sum and Hellen Obiri finished the event in 17:08.17 at the Athletics Kenya Relay Series meet in Nairobi. A University of Tennessee team set the former mark of 17:08.34 in 2009.