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Mikitenko top European in London

Irina Mikitenko

Irina Mikitenko

Irina Mikitenko produced the best European performance at the 2012 Virgin London Marathon on Sunday when the German runner came home seventh in the women’s race in 2:24:53.

Mikitenko, the third fastest European ever and a previous London winner in 2008 and 2009, was running on her own for much of the race after getting detached form the leading group just after 10km.

She went through the halfway point in 1:12:01 before a strong showing over the final 5km when she made up several places for the fourth fastest European time of the year.

Just one place behind Mikitenko was Portugal’s 2010 SPAR European Cross Country Championships gold medallist Jessica Augusto, who clocked 2:24:59; her time was just 26 seconds shy of her personal best which was set in the same race 12 months ago.

Kenya’s Mary Keitany won the women’s race in 2:18:37.

Turkey’s Bekir Karayel, a convincing winner on home soil at the Balkan Cross Country Championships last month, confirmed his good form by being the first European home in the men’s race.

Karayel finished 16th in 2:13:21, taking more than two minutes off his personal best after a well-paced run which saw him go through the halfway point in 1:06:27 Kenya’s Wilson Kipsang won in 2:04:44.

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