Cherono Stuns Desisa, Degefa Outlasts Kiplagat For Boston Marathon Glory

Apr 15 - by Mutwiri Mutuota for SportPesa News

Kenya and Ethiopia split the honours in the men's and women's races of the World Marathon Majors event on Monday evening

Ethopian Worknesh Degefa(L), and Kenyan Lawrence Cherono, celebrate together after they won the Women's Elite, and Men's Elite races respectfully at the 123rd Boston Marathon on April 15, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. PHOTO/AFP

  • Cherono deployed a lung-bursting final sprint to edge two-time winner, Lelisa Desisa in the last dash for the tape, clinching victory in 2:07:59 against 2:08:00 in an unbelievable finish
  • Dubai Marathon winner, Degefa won the race in the unofficial time of 2:23:31 ahead of the two-time world champion Edna Kiplagat of Kenya, 39 who took silver after detaching from the chasing pack just before the 35K mark with Jordan Hassey of United States closing the podium

BOSTON, United States- Kenya's Lawrence Cherono and Worknesh Degefa of Ethiopia secured their first ever men and women at the 123rd running of the Boston Marathon titles on Monday evening im contrasting styles as the East African rivals split the honours at the second World Marathon Majors race of the year.

Cherono deployed a lung-bursting final sprint to edge two-time winner, Lelisa Desisa in the last dash for the tape, clinching victory in 2:07:57 against 2:07:59 in an unbelievable finish that will be remembered for years to come.

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"To me, it was something amazing. I did my best to use my finishing kick," Cherono gushed moments after winning the 2019 Boston men's title as another Kenyan, Kenneth Kipkemoi clocked 2:08:06 for third.

In damp, chilly conditions, Cherono, Desisa and Kenneth Kipkemoi broke away from the field over the final few miles as the world's oldest major marathon reached a thrilling conclusion.

Desisa, the 2013 world champion and two-time Boston Marathon winner, looked to be on course for victory as he kicked for home in the final 200 meters.

But Cherono timed his finish to perfection, overhauling Desisa just a few meters from the tape to claim a magnificent win.

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Rewarded handsomely

Degefa on the other hand was rewarded handsomely for her risky but courageous move to charge to the lead early when she won the women title at the expense of former champion and hard fighting Edna Kiplagat of Kenya who ran out of road to complete what would have been a monumental chase down.

Dubai Marathon winner, Degefa won the race in the unofficial time of 2:23:31 ahead of the two-time world champion Edna Kiplagat of Kenya, 39 who took silver after detaching from the chasing pack just before the 35K mark with Jordan Hasey of United States closing the podium.

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The 28-year-old had forged into a two-minute lead by the 12-mile mark and had pulled away to lead by four minutes through 20 miles.

Degefa's pace slowed dramatically over the closing stages, as Kiplagat, the 2017 Boston champion, kicked hard in pursuit.

But although Kiplagat steadily chipped away at Degefa's lead, narrowing the gap to around one minute with a couple of miles to go, Degefa never looked in danger of being overhauled.

Kiplagat crossed in second while Jordan Hasay of the United States finished third.

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Leading Boston Marathon results

Elite men

1. Lawrence Cherono (2:07:57)

2. Lelisa Desisa (2:07:59)

3. Kenneth Kipkemoi (2:08:07)

4. Felix Kandie (2:08:54)

5. Geoffrey Kirui (2:08:55)

Elite Women

1. Worknesh Degefa (02:23:31)

2. Edna Kiplagat  (02:24:13)

3. Jordan Hasay (02:25:20)

4. Meskerem Assefa (02:25:40)

5. Desiree Linden (02:27:00)