Kipruto, Kipyogei complete Kenyan sweep at Boston Marathon

Benson Kipruto and Diana Kipyogei of Kenya react after winning the men's and women's divisions of the 125th Boston Marathon on October 11, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. Maddie Meyer/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Maddie Meyer / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

Benson Kipruto and Diana Kipyogei completed a Kenyan clean sweep in the men's and women's races at the 125th Boston Marathon on Monday, timing late bursts to perfection to win their first major titles.

Kipruto crossed the line in 2hr 9min 51sec after blazing away from the field at the 22-mile mark to win by around 45 seconds.

Ethiopia's Lemi Berhanu was second, finishing just ahead of compatriot Jemal Yimer in third place.

It was the third marathon victory of Kipruto's career following wins at the 2021 Prague Marathon and the 2018 Toronto Marathon, but his first win at one of the six World Marathon Majors.

A large pack of runners led after around 22 miles but Kipruto pulled away with a devastating burst, clocking 4min 29sec for mile 23 to put daylight between himself and the rest of the field.

Kipruto's previous best in Boston was a 10th place finish in 2019. His previous best finish in a marathon major was a seventh place in London in 2020.

"It was a nice feeling today after finishing 10th a couple of years ago," Kipruto said afterwards.

In the women's race, Kipyogei was similarly dominant, stretching the field after 18 miles.

The 27-year-old looked to have been caught by Ethiopia's Netsanet Gudeta with a few miles to go, but moved through the gears to pull away for victory.

Edna Kiplagat, the 41-year-old two-time world champion and Boston winner in 2017, finished second in 2:25:09 while Mary Ngugi completed a Kenyan sweep in third.

"For me, I saw the group was so slow, I said to myself 'lets go'," Kipyogei said of her race tactics. "I think the body felt good so I said, let me try and push. The course was not easy."

This year's Boston Marathon was staged after being canceled in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic and postponed by six months this year from its traditional slot in April.

The field for the race had been trimmed by 40% to around 20,000, while vaccinations or a negative COVID-19 test at the race's medical center were required for all participants.