London Marathon 2017: Club runner Joshua Griffiths upstages elite British runners as Mary Keitany and Daniel Wanjiru seal Kenyan double

 
Frank Dalleres
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Josh Griffiths running in the 2017 London Marathon
Griffiths could now represent Britain at this year's World Athletics Championships in London (Source: Getty)

A club runner from Swansea upstaged more illustrious rivals to record the best time of any British man at the London Marathon.

Joshua Griffiths clocked two hours, 14 minutes and 52 seconds on his first attempt at marathon distance, beating elite British runners such as Robbie Simpson, Andrew Davies and Scott Overall.

It provided one of the stories of the day and thrust Griffiths into contention for a surprise place at this summer’s World Athletics Championship in London.

Read more: How the London Marathon compares to the best of the rest

“My first marathon today, I never even considered a British place, it was always to qualify for Commonwealth Games for Wales,” he said.

“I thought with the Commonwealth Games [next year] I’d give the marathon a shot. I never considered the World Champs until I crossed the line.”

Kenyan Daniel Wanjiru held off Ethiopian distance-running great Kenenisa Bekele in a close finish to the men’s race, winning for the first time in 2:05:56.

Wanjiru’s compatriot Mary Keitany went one better, claiming a convincing victory in the women’s elite race in a new record time for a female-only marathon.

Keitany’s time of 2:17:01 was 41 seconds quicker than the previous best, run by Britain’s Paula Radcliffe when she won in 2005, although Radcliffe still holds the overall world record, set two years earlier in a race that involved male pacemakers.

“It was a great day for me. It was really amazing, to run the best time,” said Keitany. “The weather was good at the beginning, it was nice for me and my pace. I’ve run my best.”

Jo Pavey retired after 17 miles, ending her hopes of qualifying for the World Championships, but fellow Britain Alyson Dixon secured her place by finishing 12th in a personal best time of 2:29:06.

Britain’s David Weir pipped last year’s winner, Marcel Hug, in a sprint finish to take the men’s wheelchair race for a record seventh time.

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