The Norman Transcript

National Sports

April 22, 2013

Running with Boston in mind

LONDON — They crossed the line in front of Buckingham Palace with black ribbons on their chests and the Boston Marathon victims on their minds.

Six days after bombs exploded near the Boston finish line, the London Marathon sent out a powerful message of solidarity with the U.S. city and its victims Sunday and put the spotlight back on the sport and away from terrorist fears.

The men’s race began with a poignant 30-second period of silence to remember Boston’s dead and injured and ended with a thrilling finish.

Under clear blue skies, Tsegaye Kebede chased down Emmanuel Mutai in the closing stages and overtook the tiring Kenyan to secure a second London title on The Mall in 2 hours, 6 minutes and 4 seconds, while compatriot Ayele Abshero was third.

“What happened in Boston, it shocked everybody — I didn’t want to believe it,” said Kebede, who also won in London in 2010. “Sport is not like that — sport is not political. Sport is free from everything. We have to focus more on sport. This is for them (in Boston).

“This is education for those who made this accident.”

The women’s race was won by Olympic silver medalist Priscah Jeptoo of Kenya in 2:20:15.

About 34,000 runners competed in London, and organizers pledged to donate 2 pounds ($3) for every finisher to “The One Fund Boston” set up to raise money for the bomb victims.

Before the silence at the start of the race, announcer Geoff Wightman urged athletes to “remember our friends and colleagues for whom a day of joy turned into a day of sadness.”

Tributes to Boston were visible all around the course, including a banner that said: “Run if you can, walk if you must, but finish for Boston.”

“It speaks volumes for London and this race,” London Marathon chief executive Nick Bitel said. “It was the perfect response to the horrors we saw in Boston. This shows the solidarity with the British and American people.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
National Sports
  • NCAA board endorses more autonomy for big schools

    INDIANAPOLIS — The NCAA’s board of directors took the first step toward shifting power to the five largest football conferences on Thursday, endorsing a 57-page plan that calls for giving 65 of the nation’s biggest schools more autonomy in ...

    April 25, 2014

  • Dice-K 1st save since 2000 as Mets hold down Cards

    NEW YORK — Daisuke Matsuzaka pinched his eyelids, clenched his teeth and thought back. He couldn’t remember all the details of the first save of his professional career....

    April 25, 2014

  • Pineda banned 10 games

    BOSTON — Michael Pineda says he was just trying to get a better grip on the ball. Now, he won’t need one for a while....

    April 25, 2014

  • Teague, Korver lead Hawks in win vs. Pacers

    ATLANTA — As the final seconds ticked off the clock, the Atlanta Hawks celebrated and their fans serenaded the Indiana Pacers with chants of “Overrated!” Game 3 did nothing to change that perception....

    April 25, 2014

  • Blazers return home in control

    PORTLAND, Ore. — Houston has a LaMarcus Aldridge problem. The Trail Blazers’ All-Star forward has been dominating with more than 40 points in each of the opening two playoff games with the Rockets in Houston. Portland is up 2-0 as the ...

    April 25, 2014

  • Ben Martin surges to Zurich Classic lead

    AVONDALE, La. — Ben Martin treated a tiny gallery to a course-record round, shooting a 10-under 62 on Thursday in the first round of the Zurich Classic....

    April 25, 2014

  • Record number sign up for U.S. Open

    FAR HILLS, N.J. — More people than ever have signed up for a chance to play in the U.S. Open. The USGA said Thursday it received a record 10,127 entrants for the U.S. Open, which will be played June 12-15 at Pinehurst No. 2....

    April 25, 2014

  • Nadal cruises into Barcelona quarterfinals

    BARCELONA, Spain — Top-ranked Rafael Nadal looked more like his confident self on the clay in passing Ivan Dodig of Croatia 6-3, 6-3, to reach the Barcelona Open quarterfinals on Thursday....

    April 25, 2014

  • Sharapova advances in Porsche Grand Prix

    STUTTGART, Germany — Defending champion Maria Sharapova defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4, 6-3 on Thursday to set up a Porsche Grand Prix quarterfinal with top seed Agnieszka Radwanska....

    April 25, 2014

  • Emmert seeks big changes to NCAA

    INDIANAPOLIS — Mark Emmert wants the NCAA to fast-track upgrades for college athletes — regardless of whether a player union is pushing for them....

    April 24, 2014