Yalemzerf Yehualaw recovered from a fall over a speed bump at around 32km to claim a dramatic yet incredible victory in the London Marathon today, recording a stunning time of 2:17:26.
The 23-year-old Ethiopian retained her composure despite suffering the mid-race mishap to become the youngest woman in history to win this iconic race.
Yehualaw made her winning break just inside the final 5km, producing a relentless burst of acceleration to kick clear of defending champion, Joyciline Jepkosgei and on to a magnificent win – just three seconds shy of her Ethiopian record.
An ecstatic Yehualaw said: “I am so happy to win here in London. I have worked very hard to prepare for this race and to take the victory is amazing.”
Yehualaw, the second fastest half marathoner in history and world 10km record holder, ran the fastest ever women’s time by a marathon debutant to win the Hamburg Marathon (2:17:23) in April this year – a performance which elevated her to seventh on the all-time lists.
In the men’s marathon, Amos Kipruto won on his London debut with 2:04.39, while Leul Gebresilase finished second (2:05:12) after a very strong race, followed by his team mates Kenenisa Bekele in fifth (2:05:53) and Birhanu Legese in sixth (2:06:11).