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Athletics: Chelimo puts world marathon title down to luck

Athletics - World Athletics Championships – women’s marathon victory ceremony – London, Britain – August 6, 2017 – Rose Chelimo of Bahrain (Gold) poses with the medal. REUTERS/Matthew Childs
Athletics - World Athletics Championships – women’s marathon victory ceremony – London, Britain – August 6, 2017 – Rose Chelimo of Bahrain (Gold) poses with the medal. REUTERS/Matthew Childs

By Isaack Omulu

LONDON (Reuters) - Kenyan-born Bahraini Rose Chelimo, who won the world marathon title on Sunday, had given up on the gold medal before the more experienced Edna Kiplagat cracked over the closing stages to hand her the title.

Chelimo led after 35km but defending champion Kiplagat overtook her before she regained her composure to win in two hours 27 minutes 11 seconds.

“I had resigned and was happy with second position, but it was my day, my luck which handed me the title. It is not revenge even after she beat me in Boston. It was just my day. That is how running goes,” Chelimo told reporters.

“I wasn’t expecting to win the race although I enjoyed the race very much. After 35km, I pushed the pace, knowing Edna is a very strong and experienced athlete. But when I saw her overtaking me, I was happy to finish second,” she said.

The 37-year-old Kiplagat, who has won two world titles and two London Marathons and beat Chelimo to claim victory in Boston this year, was clear favourite but played down what is becoming a major rivalry.

“I trained well, but Rose was much stronger today. That is normal in running, you win today and lose tomorrow. It was Rose’s day today. I thought I trained well, but she was prepared better,” Kiplagat said.

“I know people put their bet on me, but at championships such things are normal,” she said.

“It was all fine until the 40km mark when my body gave in, I could no longer push. I am happy with this position, I spoke to my family who could not come and watch me due to delayed visa,” she said.

(Editing by Ed Osmond)

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