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US Woman Cracks Africa’s Dominance in New York City Marathon

NEW YORK, Nov 6 2017 (IPS) - With an estimated two million people lining up the streets, the annual New York City Marathon ended on a predictable note: the Africans dominated one of the most popular events testing the endurance of over 50,000 athletes from more than 125 countries in a 26.2 mile run through the city’s five boroughs—- Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Manhattan.

But this year, there was one remarkable exception: the women’s race was won by 36 year-old Shane Flanagan, the first American woman to do so since Miki Gorman back in 1977. She completed the course in 2 hours and 26 minutes.

The first three to reach the finishing line in the men’s event were all from Africa: Geoffrey Kamworor (Kenya) followed by his country man Wilson Kipsang (Kenya), who won the marathon in 2014,  and Lelisa Desisa (Ethiopia) finishing third.

In the womens’ event, Flanagan was followed by Mary Keitany (Kenya), the reigning champion for the last three years, and Mamitu Daska (US).

At the conclusion of the event, Flanagan told reporters: ”What I know 100 percent is that we are a very resilient nation and I don’t know that there are tougher people than New Yorkers.”

She was one of the runners in the ill-fated 2013 Boston marathon which came under a terrorist attack.

Described as one of the biggest gathering since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the New York City marathon took place under tight security and in the shadow of an attack last month in lower Manhattan that killed eight people and injured and dozen more.

With reports of rising terror attacks on the streets of France, Belgium and Germany, the New York Police Department provided an extensive security cover – ensuring an incident-free event.

At a press conference before the marathon, NYPD officials said there would be additional security measures, including sand trucks to block intruders and sniper teams in rooftop locations.

Referring to the increased number of police officers, Carlos Gomez, chief of the department, said: “It will be the most deployed at this event.

 
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