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Kenya’s Komen wins Athens Classic Marathon

Kenyan John Kipkorir Komen won the 37th Athens Classic Marathon yesterday, clocking two hours, 16 minutes and 34 seconds in the rain.

The 42-year-old swept past Rwanda’s Felicien Muhitira, who had led from the start, about 600 metres from the finish.

Muhitira, 25, took second in 2:16.43 with Greece’s Konstantinos Gkelaouzos. 29, in third at 2:19.02.

Kenya’s Daniel Muindi in 2:21.39 was fourth and Morocco’s Khamis Bakari fifth in 2:23.36.

The women’s race was won by Eleftheria Petroulaki of Greece clocking 2:45.50.

Some 20 000 runners from dozens of countries took part in the authentic marathon which began near the tumulus erected for the Greek dead from the Battle of Marathon in 490BC and ended in the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens, site of the first modern Olympics in 1896.

According to legend, the 42.195km route from Marathon to Athens was first run by Pheidippides, an Athenian messenger who in 490 BC dashed to the city to announce victory over the Persians, before dying of exhaustion.

Baron de Coubertin, creator of the modern Olympics, introduced the race into the first Games in Athens in 1896 when it was won by the Greek water-carrier Spiridon Louis. –AFP

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