Kenya’s Jemima Sumgong overcame a heavy fall to win her first Virgin London Marathon ahead of defending women’s champion Tigist Tufa.
Sumgong took a tumble at around 23 miles, tangling feet with Aselefech Mergia as the lead group approached a water stop in an incident that also saw one of the favourites Mary Keitany also go down.
The fall was not the only interruption to Sumgong’s race, a spectator also threatened to disrupt her progress after invading the course. He was wrestled away by a marshall just metres away from the leader and given a ticking off by the Metropolitan Police but not arrested.
Sumgong, who has been a runner-up in the Boston, Chicago and New York marathons, was more troubled by the fall as she cracked her head against the floor. She managed to ignore her clear discomfort to rejoin the leading pack and eventually pass them.
The near miss with an over-enthusiastic spectator occurred as the man wearing a black cap and jacket appeared to have skipped a barrier on to the course as Sumgong kicked away from the main group.
Sumgong said: ‘Usually the spectators some they enjoy run alongside us, so I was thinking maybe he’s enjoying running with me. No I was not scared I was not worried.’
The Metropolitan Police confirmed its officers removed a man from the track near Shadwell in South East London, but was not arrested.
A Metropolitan Poilice spokesperson said: ‘A man who is not believed to have been a participant of the London Marathon was removed from the course at around the mile 22 mark.
‘He was initially detained whilst enquiries were undertaken and once it had been established that no offence had been committed and that he had misunderstood what was acceptable in relation to this event he was given words of advice and directed to leave the area.’
Sumgong finished in an unofficial time of two hours 22 minutes and 58 seconds as Tufa failed to haul her in on the final stretch.


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