Eritrea’s Ghebreslassie, Kenya’s Keitany Win NYC Marathon

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Eritrea’s Ghirmay Ghebreslassie and Kenya’s Mary Keitany won the New York City Marathon Sunday, with Keitany becoming the first woman to win three straight titles in more than three decades.

The 19-year-old Ghebreslassie — the youngest-ever male winner in the contest — finished his first race in New York with a time of 2:07:51, capping what amounted to a three-man race that included Kenya’s Lucas Rotich and Ethiopia’s Lelisa Desisa. Ghebreslassie began gradually pulling away at the 20-mile marker, beating Rotich by 62 seconds. American Abdi Abdirahman finished third, after Desisa dropped out at mile 22.

Defending champion Stanley Biwott of Kenya was forced to withdraw at the 10-mile mark with a leg injury.

The 34-year-old Keitany defended her 2015 title with a time of 2:24:26, defeating countrywoman Joyce Chepkirui by nearly four minutes.

New York City Marathon, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016, in New York. (M. Besheer/VOA)

New York City Marathon, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016, in New York. (M. Besheer/VOA)

Last year, she pulled away at the 21-mile marker, but Sunday she began opening a sizable lead at mile 15.

American Tatyana McFadden, who won six medals at the Rio Paralympics in September, won the women’s wheelchair race in an unofficial time of 1:47:43.

Swiss contestant Marcel Hug won the men’s race, his second NYC Marathon title and his sixth marathon this year.

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