OTSU, Shiga Pref. (Kyodo) Kenya’s Wilson Kipyang outpaced Ethiopia’s Deriba Merga to win his first Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon in a course-record time on Sunday, while Hiroyuki Horibata finished third to secure a berth at this summer’s world championships.

Kipyang and Merga, fourth at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, turned the race into a one-on-one duel from the 27-km mark but Kipyang upped the pace in the final stages to pull away and cross the finish line with a time of 2 hours, 6 minutes, 13 seconds.

“My pace was good at the start but I thought my time was a bit slow over the final 3 km,” said Kipsang, winner of last year’s Frankfurt Marathon.

“It was very strong battle but I believed in myself. I enjoyed the battle (with Merga) because it really forced me to increase the pace,” added the 28-year-old

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