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Radcliffe wins at NYC marathon

November 03, 2008 13:03 IST

Paula Radcliffe won the New York City marathon for a third time in emphatic fashion on Sunday, while Marilson Gomes dos Santos of Brazil posted a dramatic come-from-behind win in the men's race.

Radcliffe led from start to finish and pulled away with a commanding performance to defend her 2007 title with a time of two hours 23 minutes 56 seconds. She had also won the race in 2004.

Finishing second nearly two minutes behind was 40-year-old Ludmila Petrova of Russia, the 2000 winner, in a time of 2:25:43.

American Kara Goucher, running her first marathon, was third in 2:25:53, almost two minutes ahead of Rita Jeptoo of Kenya.

"It's just a place where I love to come," Radcliffe told reporters after the 26.2 mile (42.2-km) run in cool, windy conditions. "It always seems to bring out the best in me.

"It was nice to win a different way. The last two times have been really close finishes at the end."

The victory made Radcliffe the only woman other than nine-times winner Grete Waitz of Norway to claim more than two New York titles.

World record-holder Radcliffe's triumph was extra sweet coming after a 23rd place in the Beijing Olympic marathon, where her training was hampered by injury.

Gomes dos Santos, the 2006 winner, duelled with last year's runner-up Abderrahim Goumri over the last six miles and trailed the Moroccan as they headed for the last section of the race in Central Park.

Goumri, seeking his first major marathon victory, suddenly hit the wall, and the Brazilian roared past the fading Moroccan and extended his lead through to the finish line, winning in 2:08:43.

Goumri finished 24 seconds back in 2:09:07.

Daniel Rono of Kenya was a distant third in 2:11:22 in the race that attracted 38,377 runners. Paul Tergat of Kenya, the 2005 champion, was fourth.

"I never lost hope," Gomes dos Santos said through an interpreter. "When I got to Central Park, the people got me going and inspired me to win the race."

The Brazilian said his triumph showed that his 2006 victory was not a fluke.

"I proved it wasn't luck," he said. "This course is very much set up for me. It reminds me of home."

(Editing by Clare Fallon and Sonia Oxley)

Larry Fine
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