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Aussie wins men’s marathon at Commonwealth Games

July 27, 2014

GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — Michael Shelley did one better at these Commonwealth Games.

The 30-year-old Australian, a silver medalist in New Delhi four years ago, ran a personal best of 2 hours, 11 minutes, 15 seconds through frequent rain showers to win the marathon on Sunday, passing the leading group of runners with four kilometers to go.

The win placed him in the same class as two other Australians who have won the marathon at the Commonwealth Games — Rob de Castella and Steve Moneghetti. De Castella won in 1982 and 1986, while Moneghetti, Australia’s chef de mission at these games, won in 1994.

Stephen Chemlany of Kenya was second Sunday in a time of 2:11.58 and Abraham Kiplimo of Uganda earned the bronze in 2:12.23. Kiplimo slipped and fell at a drinks stop but recovered to rejoin the leading runners minutes later.

Kenyan runners finished one-two in the women’s marathon, which began on the same course about 30 minutes after the men. Flomena Daniel won the race in 2:26:45, with teammate Caroline Kilel 25 seconds behind.

The bronze medal went to Australian Jess Trenglove, the sister of Australian Rules footballer Jack Trenglove, who plays for the Melbourne Demons. He was in Glasgow to watch his sister’s podium finish.

The two-lap course started and finished in Glasgow Green, a 15th-century park now popular with fitness enthusiasts and for family outings. The competitors also negotiated their way through cobblestoned streets made slick by the rain and crossed the River Clyde four times.

Shelley tried not to get caught up in the frequent bursts by the leading pack over the first lap of the race.

Kiplimo made the first break just before the start of the second lap, but soon after he left the field, he slipped while collecting a drink at a water station and nearly slid under the table.

“I just decided to stay relaxed on the first lap, not go too hard too early,” Shelley said. “I don’t like the rain too much either, but it’s good to come back and defend a silver medal and go one ever better.”

Chemlany said the course was tricky.

“It was good but it had too many turns in it which made it more of a challenge,” the Kenyan said.

Daniel was among the lead racers from the start of the women’s race and eventually had a lonely run to the finish line after breaking away from teammate Kilel with seven kilometers left.

“It really was the best and I hope to be there at the next Commonwealth Games,” Daniel said. “We were running together and trying to help one another.”

Trengrove said she knew that compatriot Shelley had won the men’s race ahead of her.

“Someone yelled it out in the park, I was in fifth at that point and it really spurred me on,” Trengrove said. “I think it is part of the reason that I have a medal around my neck ... hearing that made me realize I could do it.”

The marathon marked the start of the athletics competition at the Glasgow games, which conclude next Saturday.

It will include an appearance by Usain Bolt in Jamaica’s 4x100-meter relay team. A left foot injury meant the Olympic champion was not able to qualify for the games in his individual sprint races over 100 and 200 meters.

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