ELIUD KIPCHOGE’s aura of invincibility was shattered in today’s London Marathon as the Kenyan superstar was beaten for the first time in SEVEN years.
In atrocious conditions around St James’s Park, the world-record holder was dropped after 35km of racing and ended up in eighth place in the men’s elite race.
In a shock result, perhaps the most seismic in the event’s history, Ethiopian Shura Kitata finished home first in the 40th staging of the London Marathon in a time of 2:05:41.
Olympic champion Kipchoge, wearing controversial Nike shoes, was 8-1 ON favourite with the bookies for a record-extending fifth title.
Yet his supreme record over 26.2 miles, which had seen him win 11 of his previous 12 marathon appearances, was broken in the heavy downpour over the capital.
Kipchoge finished 68 seconds behind the winner – his worst Marathon display.
It was a huge upset – one that could have massive implications for the Tokyo Olympics – in a race that had been moved back from April due to the global Covid-19 pandemic.
From a British perspective, Mo Farah put aside his own aspiration to pace-make for a group of national team-mates in his return to road running.
Britain’s double Olympic champion helped Jonathan Mellor secure the national title ahead of Ben Connor, the second time he had made the qualifying time for Tokyo in 2021.
In the women’s race, another world-class Kenyan led the way with Brigid Kosgei defending her title.
The 26-year-old, who broke Paula Radcliffe’s world record almost a year ago, was in dominant form, overlapping everyone bar the top six, as she won in a time of 2:18:58.
Kosgei said: “The weather isn’t good so we struggled. It was wonderful to race. We have not prepared well due to the pandemic.
"I hope to be here next year. I will be well prepared to get a good result.”
Gutsy American Sara Hall sprinted past Kenyan world champion Ruth Chepngetich down the finishing line to record a PB of 2:22:01.
She is the first Yank on the women’s podium since 2006.
Natasha Cockram was the top Brit, finishing in 13th place in a time of 2:33:19.
Naomi Mitchell was four seconds later.
Neither secured the qualifying time for the Tokyo Olympics.
Brits Steph Twell and Lily Partridge were unable to finish the race.
There were an estimated 45,000 runners taking part in their own marathons – those who complete the 26.2 miles will receive a winners’ T-shirt and medal.
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