London Marathon: Irvette Van Zyl finishes in top 10

2013-04-22 00:00

LONDON is fast becoming a favorite venue for South African marathoner Irvette van Zyl who recorded a substantial personal best time of 2:31:26 in the Virgin London Marathon.

Van Zyl who ran 2:33:41 in London last year, was on target for a sub 2:30 time at half way which she past in one hours, 13 minutes and 47 seconds in 11th place.

Although dropping to 12th by 35 km, the

25-year-old was able to claw her way back to finish and secure her place to the World Athletics Championships in Moscow in August.

By 30 km, the women’s race was down to Edna Kiplagat and Priscah Jeptoo, but a 3:15 per kilometre surge by Jeptoo opened an unassailable lead for the Kenyan who continued to apply the pressure just failing to break the two hours and 20 minute barrier by 15 seconds.

Ernst van Dyk once again provided the South African interest in the wheelchair event, which saw eight athletes slipstreaming their way to a sprint finish. Australian Kurt Fearnley pushed through on the inside to edge out Switzerlands Marcel Hug in 1:31:29, with van Dyk two seconds adrift in third place. The 40 year old South African had finished second in Boston last Monday.

The 2010 London winner Tsegaye Kebede won the men’s race in 2:06:04.

Although it was a slow time by recent years, it was an exciting race with the lead changing several times over the final quarter and the Kebede only assured of victory 900 m from the line.

Stanley Biwott was first to make the decisive break from the pack which had been whittled to four by 30 km. Injecting a 2,55 km the Kenyan, a debutant to London, opened over 100 metres on Ayele Abshero with Emmanuel Mutai apparently dropping back and Ethiopian Feyisa Lilesa struggling in the slipstream.

Two Kilometres later Mutai, the 2011 winner and course record holder, was back in the lead as a spent Biwott was going backwards. Behind a determined Kebede maintained his pace as others crumbled and scythed his way through the field, making up a 49 seconds deficit at 35km to overhaul Mutai as they entered the park.

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