Emmanuel Mutai and Mary Keitany completed a Kenyan double as they won the men’s and women’s races at the London Marathon on Sunday.

Mutai raced to a London record of two hours four minutes and 39 seconds, while Keitany won in 2:19.19, the fourth fastest women’s marathon ever.

In the men’s race Martin Lel sprinted to second place ahead of Patrick Makau as Kenyans filled the top three spots.

Russian defending champion Liliya Shobukhova was the women’s runner-up.

Mutai told BBC Sport: “My dreams have come true, the day has come for me. My aim was just to win the race, I was not focusing on the time.

“I’m happy with the result, since I came to run in London, I was fourth twice and second once. It’s a fantastic achievement for me personally.”

The 26-year-old beat the previous London Marathon record time by 30 seconds and recorded the fifth fastest time in history.

Ethopian Aberu Kebede, last year’s winner of the men’s race, could only manage ninth.

Lee Merrien was Britain’s highest placed athlete, coming in 14th in a time of 2:14.27, one place ahead of Andrew Lemoncello, who could not improve on last year’s eighth-placed finish as he struggled in the later stages.

None of the British men were able to achieve the Olympic qualifying time of two hours and 12 minutes set by UK Athletics head coach Charles van Commenee.

Keitany, running only her second marathon, controlled the latter part of the women’s race and the 29-year-old won by nearly a minute from Shobukhova.

The Russian world number one was a strong favourite to retain her London Marathon title and led from the beginning, but Keitany pulled ahead of the pack at mile 15 and increased her pace all the way to the line.

“I am happy because I won the race. I decided to go at my own pace at 21k. I think I surprised myself as I was with last year’s winner [Shobukhova],” said Keitany.

“I was scared at first but as we continued to move I believed in myself.”

Fellow Kenyan athlete Edna Kiplagat, 31, finished third on her London marathon debut.

Great Britain’s Jo Pavey came through in a time of 2:28.24, the seventh fastest time by a British female athlete and inside the British Olympic and World Championship qualifying time.

Team-mate Louise Damen, the second British athlete across the line, was also inside both qualifying times in 2:30.00.

Pavey told BBC Sport: “The first half felt quite slow but the second half was awful really. I enjoyed it and I know I’ve got a lot to learn.

“From here I need to think about longer sustained runs, I know what I’ve got to do and I need to go away and do them. All in all I’m very pleased.”

The 37-year-old from Devon is yet to decide whether she will run at the World Championships in Daegu this summer. The team is selected on Monday.

“I was so focused on today and not thinking about whether to run the World Championships or an autumn marathon,” she said.

“I might have to make some decisions in the next 24 hours.”

BBC pundit Brendan Foster said: “She’s run really well, I don’t think she’s in the best form ever, but I’m sure this now means Jo Pavey will firmly concentrate on the Olympic Games.”

Damen told BBC Sport: “The crowd were phenomenal they carried me through the last few metres. I don’t think you can ever prepare enough for this event. It’s a massive learning curve for me. From here, I’d like to work on my shorter distances and get some speed back.”

Britain’s Mara Yamauchi, who missed the race because of a hamstring injury, told BBC Sport: “In terms of the British girls, both got the World’s qualifying times, so that’s amazing.

“If they do decide to run in the World’s I think they’ll do terrific. This was definitely the best race I’ve ever seen, the depth in the field is really sensational.”

Keitany’s commanding performance will interest Britain’s world marathon record holder Paula Radcliffe, who is yet to begin her season after taking time out to give birth to her second child.

Radcliffe aims to return to competition on 15 May for the 10k Great Manchester Run, which will mark the beginning of her 2012 Olympic preparations.

On a mild day in the capital, over 35,000 registered runners took to London’s streets to raise money for charity.

The line-up included former Olympic rowing gold medalists Sir Matthew Pinsent and James Cracknell, while ex-400m runners Iwan Thomas and Jamie Baulch also went head-to-head.

Thomas joked before the race: “If I go under four hours I’ll buy myself a Harley-Davidson tomorrow.” The 37-year-old finished in 4:24.52.

Source: BBC