Lemma and Obiri shine in Boston

Sisay Lemma lead from gun to tape to become the Boston Marathon champion on a sun-soaked Patriots’ Day.
The Ethiopian, brimming with confidence as the third fastest man in the world prior to the race, took the contest away from his rivals in the early kilometers.
They included Evans Chebet, who was aiming for a third consecutive win.
Lemma all but extinguished the chances of Chebet and everyone else as he blazed through a series of 5km segments in course record times.
His 60:19 for the halfway point is the fastest ever seen in Boston.

Hellen Obiri wins her second Boston title in a row

As the sun continued to rise, the 34-year-old began to feel the effects of such a punishing early pace, but with a lead that stretched well beyond two minutes, even the late surges deployed by Chebet, John Korir and the fast-finishing Mohamed Esa were not enough to overhaul Lemma.
It was Esa who came closest, flying past Chebet and Korir to whittle Lemma’s lead down below the minute mark, but leaving it far too late to deny him a second AbbottWMM title following his 2021 victory in London.
His finish time of 2:06:17 was eventually well outside Geoffrey Mutai’s 2:03:02, indicative of the effort he had been putting in in that scorching first half.
It’s unlikely he will care too much after a history with this race that – until now – featured one 30th place finish and two DNFs.
Hellen Obiri took her second successive Boston title in entirely different fashion.
The Kenyan was part of a large pack of women who refused to show their hand until late on.
It was not until the 23rd mile when the group splintered, leaving the veteran Edna Kiplagat to test the legs of Obiri and their countrywoman Sharon Lokedi.
Kiplagat yielded with two miles to go, leaving the younger pair to battle until the final slope prior to the famous right turn onto Hereford Street, where Obiri finally shook her rival off.
The victory moves her  into a share of the lead in the Abbott World Marathon Majors 2024 series and as a strong contender for Olympic honors this summer.
For Obiri and Lemma alike, Boston’s testing course may well prove the perfect preparation for the hills that await in Paris this summer.

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