Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge ran the second fastest marathon in history to win the London Marathon for a fourth time as Britain’s Mo Farah finished fifth.
Kipchoge, 34, who broke the world record in Berlin last year, triumphed in two hours two minutes 38 seconds. Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei, 25, became the youngest female London winner.
Ethiopia’s Mosinet Geremew and Mule Wasihun finished second and third respectively behind Kipchoge, who finished 59 seconds shy of his world record of 2:01:39.
“I’m happy to win on the streets of London for the fourth time and to make history,” Kipchoge told BBC Sport.
“The crowd in London is wonderful and that spirit pushed me. From the first kilometre to the last, everybody is shouting. I’m happy to cross the line.”
Asked about his next race, he said: “As usual, I do not chase two rabbits— I only chase one and that was London. I have caught that rabbit so I will discuss with my team what follows. The second option is still open.”
Briton Mo Farah finished three minutes, one second behind Kipchoge. Farah’s time of 2:05:39, although outside his personal best, is the second fastest by a Briton.
He was dropped by the leading pack around the halfway mark as the men’s field started to string out with Kipchoge dictating the pace. Farah was involved in a row with double Olympic champion Haile Gebrselassie this week but said it “didn’t distract me at all”.
“I felt great with my start,” the four-time Olympic champion, 36, told BBC Sport. “My aim was to follow the pacemaker, but after 20 miles when he dropped out, the gap opened up and it became hard to close. “My aim was to try and reel them back but the wheels came off and I was hanging in there.
“Congratulations to Eliud and the better man won today. He is a very special athlete and he is humble. “If Eliud can run those sort of times it just gives us another level of possibility. It’s a different mindset chasing someone and it takes the pressure off me.”
In the women’s race, Kosgei beat defending champion and compatriot Vivian Cheruiyot to win for the first time in London. She crossed the finish line in 2:18:20, almost two minutes ahead of Cheruiyot as Roza Dereje of Ethiopia finished third.
The top three had left three-time London Marathon winner Mary Keitany behind at the 30km mark. She finished fifth, two minutes 38 seconds behind Kosgei.
Kosgei is 25 days younger than Aselefech Mergia when she won the 2010 race.