Track speedster Shobukhova wins London marathon
London: Chicago champion Liliya Shobukhova of Russia displayed her track speed on the roads again on Sunday to win the women`s London marathon in a unofficial personal best of two hours 22 minutes.
The 32-year-old European 5,000 metres record holder eased into the lead at the halfway stage and stepped up the pace through Canary Wharf in cool, damp conditions.
World champion Bai Xue of China and Japanese Mari Ozaki chased hard in a leading group of seven but found the pace too fierce and Ethiopian Aselefech Mergia moved into second place.
Shobukhova`s compatriot Inga Abitova, the European 10,000 metres champion, then briefly took the lead, succeeded by Mergia.
But Shobukhova always appeared to have plenty in reserve, going to the front on the Victoria Embankment and stretching her lead to win ahead of Abitova with Mergia in third place.
German Irina Mikitenko, aiming to become only the second woman to complete a hat-trick of successive victories, dropped out at Tower Bridge shortly before the halfway stage.
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