London: Olympic bronze medallist Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia denied Kenya a seventh successive London men`s marathon title on Sunday with an untroubled victory in an unofficial two hours five minutes 18 seconds.
Kebede, who finished second to Olympic gold medallist Sammy Wanjiru last year after a fierce battle over the final stages, was grouped with two other Kenyans Abel Kirui and Emmanuel Mutai at the 35 kms mark.
Mutai dropped back and Kebede and Kirui then fought for the lead with Kebede eventually proving too strong for the world champion and running unchallenged for the final 10 kms.
Six Kenyan pacemakers spread themselves across the front of the field from the start in cool, damp weather at Greenwich Park, urged on by Wanjiru running in a black vest.
The leading pack crossed Tower Bridge in just under an hour and passed the halfway mark in 63:06 with Kirui and Mutai at the front.
Wanjiru, who had missed a month`s speed training this year because of a back injury, faded at the 25 kms mark, Mutai dropped back and the race resolved into a final duel between Kirui and Kebede.