By Kennedy Langat
Kenya’s Helah Kiprop stormed to victory in the Tokyo Marathon clocking a time of 2 hours 21 minutes and 27 seconds ahead of the defending Tokyo champion Birhane Dibaba of Ethiopia. Ethiopia’s Feyisa Lilesa won the men’s title after he clocked 2 hours 06 minutes and 56 seconds.
Lilesa and Chumba broke away from a pack of seven runners that had led but it was Lilesa who had a final spurt to cross the finish line in two hours, six minutes and 56 seconds.
Chumba faded to third position after being passed by compatriot Bernard Kiprop Kipyego who was second. Course record holder and Chicago Marathon champion Dickson Chumba needed to win to tie London and Berlin Marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge atop the WMM standings — he fluffed and Kipchoge wclinched the majors title and claimed the $500,000 prize.
Kenya’s Helah Kiprop won the women’s race with a winning time of 2:21:27 ahead of last year’s winner Birhane Dibaba who finished in second.
The time, a 2:36 personal best for Kiprop, shaved almost a minute off Tirfi Tsegaye‘s old course record of 2:22:23. Kiprop is now tied with world champ Mare Dibaba and New York champ Mary Keitany atop the WMM standings, though it’s not clear if she’ll receive any of the $500,000 prize as she lost head-to-head to Dibaba at Worlds.
Over 36,000 runners took part in Sunday’s event, the 10th anniversary of the race through the streets of Tokyo.