American Meb Keflezighi earns home win at Boston Marathon

Last Updated: 22/04/14 12:17pm

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Meb Keflezighi: First American man to win in Boston in 31 years

Meb Keflezighi: First American man to win in Boston in 31 years

Sky Bet

Meb Keflezighi scored an emotional home victory in the Boston Marathon a year after the race was marred by the tragic fatal bombing close to the finish line.

Thousands took to the streets of the city to remember the victims of last year's atrocity, in which three people were killed and 260 injured by the two explosions.

Keflezighi sparked jubilant scenes as he crossed the finish line in Boylston Street in a time of two hours, eight minutes and 37 seconds.

The former New York marathon winner and Olympic medallist held off Kenyan Wilson Chebet, who faded over the closing stages and finished 11 seconds behind.

Keflezighi, 38, becomes the first American man to win the race since Greg Meyer in 1983.

"It was not about me," Eritrea-born Keflezighi was quoted as saying by the Boston Globe. "It was about Boston Strong."

In the women's race, Rita Jeptoo successfully defended the title she was unable to celebrate last year following the bombings.

The Kenyan ace set a new course record of two hours, 18 minutes and 57 seconds as she became only the seventh athlete to win three Boston Marathon titles.

Jeptoo powered ahead of the chasing pack with three miles remaining and coasted to victory by over a minute from Ethiopian Buzunesh Deba.

Home favourite Shalane Flanagan led for more than half the race, but she paid the price for setting a fast early pace as she trailed in fifth.

An estimated 36,000 participants took to the startline in the town of Hopkinton for the 118th running of the world's oldest marathon to honour the victims.

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