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Uganda’s Kiplangat wins men’s world marathon title

Ugandan Victor Kiplangat won the men’s marathon at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest on Sunday after producing a devastating final third to leave his rivals trailing in his wake.

The Commonwealth champion clocked a winning time of 2hr 08min 53sec on the streets of the Hungarian capital after breaking free in the last 15 kilometres.

Israel’s Ethiopian-born Maru Teferi followed up on his European silver last year with second place in 2:09.12, while Ethiopian Leul Gebresilase took bronze (2:09.19).

“This has been my dream and it has come true at last,” said Kiplangat.

“Last year I was Commonwealth Games champion and that made me think this year I must become world champion. Now my prayers have been answered and hopefully next year in Paris I will become Olympic champion too.”

Kiplangat added: “It was hard today because it was so hot but I felt comfortable because I prepared well for this weather. I knew it was possible because I had trained well.”

Well-timed surge

Kiplangat and teammate Stephen Kissa, along with Ethiopians Gebresilase, Tsegaye Getachew and Tamirat Tola, and Kenya’s Timothy Kiplagat went through the 30km mark in a tight grouping in 1hr 32.

Kissa then took a tumble after catching Kiplagat’s heel, leaving Kiplangat to move clear with Gebresilase.

Over the next 5km, Kiplangat, 23, surged to successfully drop the lead pack, Gebresilase falling 15sec behind.

“When I reached 30km I knew I felt strong and decided to push,” said Kiplangat. “I had great energy and that allowed me to go. Then at 35km I could surge again.

“That was always my plan and I managed to do it. The pace was high but I had more to give. It was tough but I always felt I had the power.”

Teferi moved up through the field for silver, while reigning world champion Tola, who set a championship record when winning in Eugene last year, dropped out.

Kissa did well to recover from his fall to finish fifth, just behind Tebello Ramakongoana of Lesotho.

Teferi, who was left with a torn running top after also taking a tumble around the 30km mark, said sweltering weather conditions had made it “very hard for everybody”.

“I am grateful I managed to finish with the silver,” he said. “I wanted to get the best out of me and this competition was my biggest target. I am glad I managed to fulfil my dream.”

Ethiopia’s defending champ Tola said he pulled out because of stomach pains.

“I was trying my best. I was feeling good until 30km,” he said. “But after that, I started to have a bad feeling in my stomach.

“I did not sleep the whole night because I had a problem with my stomach and I was about to puke but nothing came out because I ate rice with a lot of salt.”

Photo/Courtesy

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