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Edna Kiplagat became the first woman ever to retain the Marathon world title as she easily claimed gold in Moscow.
The Kenyan looked unbeatable when capturing the women’s long-distance event in Daegu two years ago, but could only finish 20th in the London Olympics 12 months ago.
However, it was a different story in Moscow on Saturday as the 33-year-old picked off her opponents one by one before taking it up at the 40k mark and racing home in a time of 2hr 25min 44seconds, with long time leader Italian Valeria Straneo of Italy and Japan’s Kayoko Fukushi toiling in her wake.
Meanwhile, the Olympic champion Tiki Gelana never featured on what was her return to competitive action following a mishap in the London Marathon when she was knocked over by a wheelchair athlete.
Even at full fitness, though, she would have had a job to contain Kiplagat, who was in the form of her life when it mattered.
Kiplagat said afterwards: “I’m delighted I was able to defend my title successfully.
“The time of the race is unusual because I am used to running most of my races in the morning. So, during my preparation I tried to adjust my training to the time.”
The Kenyan also revealed that she knew she was the one to beat as the race reached its conclusion: “I got confident I was going to win at 40k when I started to increase my pace.”