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Eliud Kipchoge’s reign as the king of the London Marathon came to a shock end as Shura Kitata emerged from the rain and the gloom to become the new champion.
In a stunning upset Kipchoge, who had won all of his previous four London Marathons and had not lost over the distance in seven years, dropped alarmingly off the pace around the 22-mile mark.
The 35-year-old world record holder had no answer as a seven-strong lead group edged away from him, and he ended up finishing down in eighth. He revealed after the race that he had suffered with a blocked right ear with 15km remaining.
Instead it was Ethiopian Kitata who snatched victory in two hours, five minutes and 41 seconds, pipping Kenya’s Vincent Kipchumba on the line after a thrilling sprint finish.
A faster race was predicted due to the nature of the course – 19.7 laps of St James’s Park rather than the traditional street route – but the incessant rain and chilly temperatures put paid to that.
With Kipchoge’s great rival Kenenisa Bekele, the second fastest marathon runner in history, missing through injury the stage looked set for a fifth victory for the Kenyan superstar.
But despite the slow pace he came up short and Kitata took full advantage, as Kipchoge was beaten for the first time since he came second in Berlin in 2013.
meanwhile, in the ladies category, World record holder Eliud Kipchoge was beaten in the London Marathon as Shura Kitata won a thrilling sprint finish to claim an unexpected victory.
Four-time winner Kipchoge was the favourite, but fell behind with two laps to go and finished eighth.
Ethiopian Kitata pushed ahead of Kenya’s Vincent Kipchumba on the home straight to finish in two hours five minutes and 41 seconds.
Brigid Kosgei, who holds the women’s world record, defended her title.

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