Kenya's Chepngetich storms to victory in Chicago Marathon

Oct 10 (Reuters) - Kenya's Ruth Chepngetich obliterated the field to win the women's Chicago Marathon on Sunday, while Ethiopia's Seifu Tura claimed victory in the men's race.

Chepngetich, who won gold at the 2019 world championships, went out fast to secure a 27-second lead through the first 10 kilometres and never let up to cross the line after two hours, 22 minutes and 31 seconds.

She finished a minute and 49 seconds ahead of second-placed American Emma Bates.

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"The race was good - it was nice but it was tough. To push alone is not easy," said Chepngetich, who set the world record in the half marathon earlier this year in Istanbul. "I just focused and I believed in myself."

It was the first major title for Tura, who held off 2017 champion Galen Rupp through the final stretch to finish 23 seconds ahead of the American in 2:06:12.

"I just was determined to fight to the very end to my best," Tura said via a translator. "There was a breeze and the first half was not too fast and that helped me."

Tura's compatriot Shifera Tamru got the men's race off to an aggressive start, leading by a 15-second margin through the first 15 kilometres but he faded to finish fifth.

Rupp, who won the bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics and finished eighth in Tokyo, said the performance was a welcome return to form after "a long couple years."

He dropped out of the Chicago Marathon in 2019 just before the 23-mile mark with calf strain after recovering from Achilles surgery. read more

"This was really a great step in the right direction for me," said Rupp. "To run as fast as I did and be right there, competing for a win, that's where I want to be."

The temperature hovered around 73 degrees Fahrenheit (22.8°C) when the elite field started, as the marathon returned this year after being cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is part of a tight autumn racing schedule, with two other world marathon majors - in London and Boston - pushed back from their usual April dates to Oct. 3 and Oct. 11 respectively.

In the wheelchair events, American Daniel Romanchuk won the men’s race for the third consecutive time after battling Paralympic champion Marcel Hug, breaking the tape in 1:29:07. Compatriot Tatyana McFadden won the women's race for the ninth time in 1:48:57.

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Reporting by Amy Tennery in New York, editing by Ed Osmond and Pritha Sarkar

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