Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge failed to defend his London Marathon title after suffering an unexpected defeat on Sunday.
Kipchoge, who is the world marathon record holder and four-time London Marathon champion, finished eighth in 2:06:49 after appearing to struggle during the race. This was the 35-year-old’s first marathon loss in seven years.
“I am really disappointed. I had a problem with my right ear after it blocked and then I really cramped and had problems with my hip. It was cold but I don’t blame the conditions,” said Kipchoge.
24-year-old Shura Kitata of Ethiopia won his maiden London Marathon title after crossing the finish line at 2:05:41 ahead of Kenya’s Vincent Kipchumba (2:05:42) and his compatriot Sisay Lemma (2:05:45).
In the women’s race, Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei, who holds the world record, defended her title.
Kosgei, 26, won the race in 2:18:58 ahead of American Sara Hall (2:22:01) and Kenya’s Ruth Chepngetich (2:22:04).
“The weather was not good, so we struggled. I struggled up to the moment I finished. We have not prepared well due to the pandemic. I will be prepared for good results next year,” said Kosgei, who earned $30,000 (£23,200) in prize money with her win.
This year’s London Marathon was rescheduled from its traditional April date due to the Covid-19 pandemic.