Event: Women’s Long Distances Date of birth: 1985/04/09 Personal bests: 800m (2:03.36),...
VAN DYK FIFTH AT LONDON MARATHON
Veteran Ernst van Dyk, the only South African competing in an elite division at the London Marathon, finished fifth in the men’s wheelchair event on Sunday.
After working hard throughout the 42km race to close the gaps on numerous breakaway attempts, Van Dyk lost some ground in a seven-man sprint and was slowed by a late crash, though he recovered well to finish in 1:31:38.
“I took the lead in the last kilometre because I wanted to come out of that final bend before the finish in at least third spot and start my sprint from there,” Van Dyk said.
“In the second last corner one guy came in on me very quick and clipped my front wheel and I lost a lot of momentum resulting in that I came out of the final bend in sixth place.
“I was working my way up and guys were fading quickly, and at that point I felt I could still secure third until the one guy from Japan lost control and crashed into me.
“After that I just wanted to get over the line as fast as possible to hang on to top five.”
The 42-year-old athlete, who was second in his attempt for an 11th Boston Marathon title on Monday, brought a close to another impressive spring marathon campaign by booking his place in the SA team for next year’s Paralympic Games in Rio.
Marcel Hug of Switzerland, who won in the English capital last year, dropped out with a burst tyre as American Joshua George of the United States won the race, which incorporated the IPC World Marathon Championships, in 1:31:31.
Tatyana McFadden of the United States, who won her third straight Boston title earlier in the week, bagged the women’s wheelchair title in London in 1:41:14.
In the elite men’s race, former world 5 000m champion Eliud Kipchoge surged clear of compatriot Wilson Kipsang in the closing stages, stunning the race favourites to win in 2:04:42.
Kipsang, the defending champion, was five seconds behind, after the duo had dropped compatriot Dennis Kimetto, the world record holder, with a couple of kilometres remaining.
Ethiopian Tigist Tufa, who broke the course record at the Shanghai Marathon last year, secured the women’s title in 2:23:22, with Kenyan Mary Keitany, who had done much of the early work up front, settling for second position in 2:23:40.