About midway through Sunday's World Championship men's marathon, Kenya's Abel Kirui said goodbye to the large pack he was running with and dashed off on his own, blowing away the field to defend his title in 2:07:38. Kirui's margin of 2 minutes, 28 seconds over fellow Kenyan Vincent Kipruto was the largest in World Championship marathon history.
Photo: Abel Kirui breaks the tape to win the men's marathon Sunday morning. Ian Walton/Getty Images
Kirui and the rest of the leaders ran a bit slowly through 20 kilometers, then Kirui reeled off three consecutive sub-15 minute splits to take charge. Kirui ran 14:43 between the 20- and 25-kilometer marks, then began pulling away from the field with a blazing 14:18 split, the fastest ever recorded in a World Championship, to take an 11-second lead after 30 kilometers. Kirui then ran a 14:40 split to push his lead over Kipruto to more than one minute by the 35-kilometer mark. The Kenyan eased up a bit, yet continued to build his lead until the end.
Kipruto finished second in 2:10:04, followed by Ethiopia's Feyisa Lilesa in 2:10:32. Kenya won five of the six marathon medals overall, having swept the women's race a week earlier.
Four individual finals are set for Sunday night, including the women's hammer throw and 800 meters, plus the men's triple jump and 5000 meters. The 4 x 100-meter relay heats will begin in early evening, then the women's and men's finals, respectively, will close the 2011 World Championships.
Check out the 2011 World Outdoor Championships main page for results, previews and schedule information for the Daegu games.