World Athletics Championships 2011: Edna Kiplagat survives fall to win women’s marathon and lead Kenyan 1-2-3 in Daegu
Kenyan Edna Kiplagat has become the first champion of the 13th World Athletics Championships here in Daegu, in dramatic fashion, after recovering resourcefully from a tumble in the marathon.
By Ian Chadband, in Daegu
27 Aug 2011
And on an eventful opening morning to the week-long event, the poster boy of Australian athletics, Steve Hooker, the reigning pole vault champion, crashed out in the qualifying round.
After a late break from the eventual three Kenyan medallists, Kiplagat, favourite to win the opening event on the roads of Daegu, had her heels clipped by her teammate Sharon Cherop when both were veering towards a roadside water station as they pushed for victory five kilometres from home.
But after quickly scrambling to her feet following the fall and as Cherop hesitated while looking behind to see what had happened to her friend, Kiplagat then relentlessly ploughed clear over the last two kilometres to end up leading the first ever clean sweep of the medals by one country in any world championship or Olympic marathon.
Cherop ended up with the bronze and Priscah Jeptoo the silver, nine seconds behind Kiplagat. The new champion, who won the New York marathon last year and was third in London this Spring, finished nine seconds clear in 2hr 21min 30sec, as the Kenyans enjoyed an unprecedented overture to any championship.
“I fell down at my first refreshment station when Cherop hit me by accident and I was a little shocked. At first I was afraid I had hurt myself,” said the 31-year-old champion. “But I’m okay and, in my first championship, I’m happy to have won.” Kiplagat would celebrate her $60,000 first prize, she beamed, by going shopping.