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Lel strides to men's marathon title

April 17, 2005 17:38 IST
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Former world half-marathon champion Martin Lel of Kenya won the men's London marathon comfortably on Sunday in an unofficial two hours seven minutes 25 seconds.

Lel, 26, a road running specialist who also won the 2003 New York marathon, crossed the line 23 seconds ahead of Morocco's world champion Jaouad Gharib with last year's New York champion Hendrick Ramaala of South Africa in third place.

Olympic champion Stefano Baldini of Italy was fifth and the pre-race favourite and world record holder Paul Tergat finished a disappointing eighth.

Tergat was at the back of the leading bunch in the early stages, behind Kenyan pacemakers Silas Kirui and Solomon Bushendich Naibel, who took the field through the halfway stage past Tower Bridge.

Lel made his move after the 35 kms mark and steadily increased his lead to win in the fastest time this year.

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