Lel powers home in GNR

The Former world half-marathon champion Martin Lel signalled his return from injury with a brilliant victory at the Great North Run yesterday.

Lel, forced to pull out of chasing a fourth title at the London Marathon in April because of a hip injury, recorded a winning time of 59min 32 sec. The 30-year-old Kenyan powered away in the final half-mile to beat his fellow countryman Kiplimo Kimutai, who clocked 59min 44sec.

The dual world marathon gold medallist Jaouad Gharib finished third in 1hr 04sec, a bout of cramp after 10 miles causing the Moroccan problems in the closing stages.

Lel now feels he is ready to try for a third New York marathon victory in November. "I was well prepared for this race but, as I had not competed for so many months, I was still not certain of what might happen," he said. "Now I will put in some intensive training before New York, where winning for a third time will be more important than chasing a fast time."

Jessica Augusto was a runaway winner of the women's title. David Weir knocked over a minute off his wheelchair course record with a winning time of 41min 34sec to secure a third GNR success.