Athletics: Masya dominates picture: Kenyans 1-2-3 in Great North Run

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The Independent Online
BENSON MASYA of Kenya confirmed his standing as the world's top road-runner this year when he won the BUPA Great North Run yesterday after prevailing in the closest finish in the race's 14-year history.

Confusion reigned for several minutes before the judges announced that Masya had won the half-marathon from Newcastle to South Shields in 60 minutes 2.0 seconds from Moses Tanui, the 1991 world 10,000 metres champion, breaking the United Kingdom all-comers' record Tanui himself set in last year's race.

Masya's time was the fastest in the world this year as well as a personal best, ensuring his eighth win in succession. For the majority of the race, in fact, he and Tanui were on schedule for the world best of 59:47 for 10 miles, only for tactical jockeying over the last mile to slow the pace as they turned into the wind. With 25 metres left, the pair spurted for the line, whereupon a photo-finish was needed to separate them.

Paul Tergat, whose 60:13 had been the year's previous fastest time, completed a one-two-three for Kenya by coming third in 60:42, while Paul Evans of Belgrave Harriers was fourth in 61:30.

The women's race was won by Italy's Rosanna Munirotto in 1hr 11min:29secs. Torbay's Andrea Wallace finished second, five seconds behind.