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London Marathon 2013: Tsegaye Kebede makes up for Olympic heartache by winning in the capital

Ethiopia's Tsegaye Kebede competes during the Virgin London Marathon in London. Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire Ethiopia's Tsegaye Kebede competes during the Virgin London Marathon in London. Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Sunday, April 21, 2013
12:10 PM

Tsegaye Kebede made up for his Olympic heartache and claimed a stunning victory in the London Marathon, chasing down Emmanuel Mutai in the final 1,000 metres.

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After Priscah Jeptoo claimed victory in the women’s event, Mutai looked set to take the men’s race in the closing stages after a rapid start.

But Kebede charged through on Birdcage Walk, 1,000 metres from home, and made up for being snubbed by the Ethiopian Olympic Committee for the 2012 London Games by claiming victory on The Mall in a time of two hours, six minutes and 13 seconds.

The men, unlike the women, made a fast start with Mo Farah, who was only running a half-marathon, in the leading pack.

The pace at the 10 kilometre mark was sub-two hours and two minutes with a pack of 10 developing.

The leaders consisted of Mutai, Stanley Biwott, Feyisa Lilesa, Farah, Kebede, Olympic champion Stephen Kiprotich, Ayele Abshero, Mutai, Wilson Kipsang and Yared Asmerom.

Between them, at that stage, they were running inside world record pace – something that would be a surprise given that the London course is regarded as slow.

Mutai was the man leading at the halfway mark and by then there was an outside chance of a world record.

The Kenyan made his break on the Embankment and was on course to beat his own course record, but the early pace affected the race in the second half with Biwott falling back in the pack.

The tempo then caught up with the leader in the closing stages and Kebede ate up the gap to win, while Ayele Abshero, who claimed his Olympic spot, picked up the bronze medal.

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