Keflezighi, Tulu win at 2009 New York City Marathon

09:12, November 02, 2009      

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Athens Olympic silver medallist Meb Keflezighi claimed America's first New York City title since 1982 in men's event, while Derartu Tulu of Ethiopia won the women's race here on Sunday.

Meb Keflezighi from the United States raises his hands after crossing the finish line winning the men's division of the November 1, 2009.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Keflezighi, 34, captured his first major marathon title in two hours nine minutes 15 seconds. Keflezighi, who was born in Eritreaand obtained U.S. citizenship in 1998, pointed to the "USA" on his singlet crossing the finish line.

Tulu, who collected 10,000-meter gold medals at the Olympic Games in 1992 and 2000 and last won a major marathon in London in 2001, won her first New York City marathon with a time of two hours 28 minutes 52 seconds.

In men's race, four-time Boston Marathon champion Robert Cheruiyot of Kenya finished second place in 2:09:56 and Jaouad Gharib of Morocco was third in 2:10:25.

On the women's side, Tulu, 37, pulled away from second-placed Russia's Ludmila Petrova (2:29:00) in the last mile. France's Christelle Daunay came third in 2:29:16 ahead of race favorite and world record holder Paula Radcliffe of Britain.

Derartu Tulu from Ethiopia crosses the finish line to win the Women's division of the 2009 New York City Marathon November 1, 2009.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Considered "the top U.S. distance runner from 10km to the marathon" by USA Track & Field, Keflezighi has been astonishing coaches ever since he ran a 5:20 mile in junior high to earn an "A" in physical education.

As an undergraduate at University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) Meb won four NCAA titles in one year and have earned himself the title as "The Greatest Distance Runner in UCLA History."

Radcliffe, 35, dropped out of the leading pack after 22 miles and the result has been set to disappoint Radcliffe who held her leg and appeared to be suffering from cramp as she crossed the finish line.

In windy conditions she had led from the start but was unable to pull away from the field. The world-record holder has won the race three times, including the past two, and had spoken of possibly challenging her personal best for the circuit.

It was a difficult year for Radcliffe who was in only her second competitive outing this year after her victory in the New York half-marathon in August. She pulled out of the World Championships in Berlin in the same month because of a hamstring problem and she missed the World Half-Marathon Championships in Birmingham last month after she contracted tonsillitis.

Source: Xinhua
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