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Sweden's Mikaela Larsson wins Stockholm marathon

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Sweden's Mikaela Larsson wins Stockholm marathon
Mikaela Larsson (c) celebrates her victory, alongside second placed Beji Bekelu (l) from Ethiopia and third place Caroline Almkvist (r) from Sweden.
16:24 CEST+02:00
Sweden's Mikaela Larsson has won the Stockholm Marathon for the first time, completing the course in an impressive two hours and 40 minutes despite the searing 27C temperature.
“Today I felt the spectators helped me pull out something extra over and over again. It was absolutely fantastic,” Larsson told Sweden’s SVT broadcaster. “I’m tired but terribly happy. I hadn’t expected this beforehand.”  
 
At the 30km mark, Larsson spurted ahead of her Ethiopian rival Beju Bekelu, building a lead of three minutes and 27 seconds by the finishing line. 
 
In the run-up to the start, many had feared that the 27C temperatures would mean runner collapsing from heat exhaustion, but the arrival of clouds just before the start made the contest slightly cooler than expected. 
 
Kenyan Lawi Kiptui won the men’s competition with a dramatic finish which saw him overtake and power ahead of his Ethiopian rival Bazu Worku. 
 
“It was an extremely hot race,” Kiptui told SVT. “I focused on nothing but winning.” 
 
The sports commentator and statistician Lennart Julin told the TV4 channel that Kiptui’s final spurt had been “one of the most extraordinary victories in the history of the Stockholm Marathon”. 
 
 
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