Ethiopian Tigist Tufa tore up the prediction book to win the 35th edition of the Virgin Money London Marathon over more fancied Kenyan rivals in London on Sunday.
Tigist Tufa, on her debut at the London Marathon, fought off the Kenyan 'fantastic four' of Mary Keitany, Priscah Jeptoo, Edna and Florence Kiplagat to hand Ethiopia its first women’s crown since the great Derartu Tulu took the victory in 2001.
Tufa grabbed the topsy-turvy race by the scruff of its neck with a devastating burst between 35km and 40km that ripped apart a nine-strong group containing two-times London winner Mary Keitany and world half marathon record holder Florence Kiplagat.
— Athletics Africa (@athleticsafrica) April 26, 2015
Tufa threw in a super-swift 24th mile to pull clear of the pack and strode home alone in 2:23:22.
Keitany won the battle for the runner-up spot with a sprint finish over Tirfi Tsegaye, the New York champion crossing the line one second ahead in 2:23:40.
Her compatriot Aselefech Mergia capped a great day for Ethiopia by finishing fourth ahead of Kiplagat, who couldn’t match her second place from 12 months ago.
As for her namesake, Edna, the defending champion and two-times world champion never featured at the head of the field and lost touch with the fluctuating lead group in the second half, eventually placing 11th in 2:27:16.
Top Ten Results
|1||Tigist Tufa (KEN)||02:23:22|
|2||Mary Keitany (KEN)||02:23:40|
|3||Tirfi Tsegaye (ETH)||02:23:41|
|4||Aselefech Mergia (ETH)||02:23:53|
|5||Florence Kiplagat (KEN)||02:24:15|
|6||Jemima Sumgong (KEN)||02:24:23|
|7||Priscah Jeptoo (KEN)||02:25:01|
|8||Ana Dulce Felix (POR)||02:25:15|
|9||Volha Mazuronak (BLR)||02:25:36|
|10||Rkia El Moukim (MAR)||02:26:33|