6 Nov 2023

African stars storm to victory at New York Marathon

6:47 am on 6 November 2023
Tamirat Tola.

Tamirat Tola. Photo: Photosport

Ethiopian Tamirat Tola crushed the competition to win the New York City Marathon in a course record two hours, four minutes and 58 seconds on Monday, while Kenyan Hellen Obiri won the women's race in 2:27:23.

The 2022 world champion left no doubt that the win was his as he built a nearly two minute lead by the 40-kilometre mark. Kenyan Albert Korir finished second in 2:06:57, while Ethiopian Shura Kitata was third in 2:07:11.

Competing under pristine conditions, Tola exorcised the disappointment of two prior fourth-place finishes in New York, hoisting his arms aloft as he claimed his first World Marathon Major title after taking third in London earlier this year.

Obiri produced an extraordinary final kick in the women's race to outlast Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey, who crossed the finish line about six seconds slower, as last year's winner, Kenyan Sharon Lokedi, finished third in 2:27:33.

The star-studded women's field kicked off at a surprisingly slow pace, as a crowded lead pack kept together through the 30-kilometre mark.

The tempo picked up considerably with less than five miles to go and the eventual podium finishers were on their own for a three-way sprint through the final 800 metres.

The race capped a blockbuster year for the World Marathon Majors that saw both the men's and women's records obliterated.

- Reuters