Kenya’s Kamworor, Jepkosgei win New York Marathon
Kenyans once again showcased their prowess in distance running after winning the men's and women's races at the 2019 New York Marathon on Sunday.
Geoffrey Kamworor, the world half marathon record holder, led compatriot Albert Korir to a Kenya 1-2 finish just as the women's half marathon record holder Joycline Jepkosgei had led defending champion Mary Keitany to a another top two finish some minutes earlier.
Jepkosgei crossed the finish line in 2:22.38 ahead of of Keitany, who clocked 2:23.32, with Ethiopia's Ruti Aga taking third position in 2:25.51
The 26-year-old Kenya Defence Forces officer failed to beat the course record set by Margaret Okayo in 2003 by seven seconds.
Kamworor's victory of 2:08.13 was sweetened as his close friend, training partner and world record holder Eliud Kipchoge was waiting for him at the finish line for a warm embrace. Kipchoge, completed the first sub two hour mark in the marathon last month. Korir took second place in 2:08.36 with Ethiopia's non-elite runner Girma Bekele Gebre settling for third in 2:08.38
The battle in the men's race was expected to be between 2017 winner Kamworor and defending champion Ethiopia’s Lelisa Desisa but the latter failed to finish the race.
Four-time champion Keitany, who is also the world record holder in women's-only, was expected to defend her title and did well until Jepkosgei broke from her in the last seven kilometers for victory.
Keitany won New York in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018 but will have to wait longer for her fifth crown on the the streets of New York.
Ethiopia's Ruti Aga was part of the leading trio of Keitany and Jepkosgei who broke from the rest of the field slightly after the half way mark. The Ethiopian run out of steam at the 27km mark as the Kenyans went for the kill.
The women's race was expected to be Keitany's with opposition anticipated from former World Half Marathon silver medallist Mary Ngugi Wacera, three-time Vienna City Marathon champion Nancy Kiprop with debutant Jepkosgei only seen as an outsider.