NEW YORK - Kenyan Geoffrey Kamworor survived a late surge from countryman Wilson Kipsang to claim victory in the New York City Marathon on Sunday, crossing the line in 2:10:53 in this IAAF Gold Label Road Race.
The men’s race started at a pedestrian pace as a group of 16 coasted through 10km in 31:55 with defending champion Ghirmay Ghebreslassie at the front. The Eritrean continued to see-saw the pace over the miles that followed, but never applied enough pressure to truly make a mark on his rivals.
At 20 miles, there were seven athletes in the lead group, with Kamworor beginning to show some interest in pushing the pace along. He surged through the 23rd mile in 4:44, which reduced his rivals to three: Lemi Berhanu and Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia and Wilson Kipsang of Kenya.
Berhanu was the first to drop, falling off pace with two miles to run, then Kamworor – a two-time champion at both the IAAF World Cross Country Championships and IAAF World Half Marathon Championships – unleashed the killer blow.
He ripped through the 25th mile in a blazing 4:31, and that was something neither Desisa nor Kipsang had an answer. Entering the final quarter mile, he had a lead of seven seconds but Kipsang, a champion here in 2014, charged after him on the uphill run to the finish, coming home just three seconds behind Kamworor in 2:10:56.
The winner, who hit the line in 2:10:53, was overcome with joy at the finish after claiming his first marathon major after several near-misses.
“What was in my mind was that I was a champion and I had to have enough belief in my sprint,” said Kamworor. “I knew I had made a decisive move but when I looked I saw Kipsang and I had to lift myself.”
1 Geoffrey Kamworor (KEN) 2:10:53
2 Wilson Kipsang (KEN) 2:10:56
3 Lelisa Desisa (ETH) 2:11:32
4 Lemi Berhanu (ETH) 2:11:52
5 Tadesse Abraham (SUI) 2:12:01