Kenyans, Japanese dominate Rotterdam Marathon

Just how much does Kenya's Kenneth Cheruiyot love running the Rotterdam Marathon? Consider this: he broke his arm in the first quarter of the 42-kilometre race and still finished a fairly close second to countryman Simon Biwott at the 2002 running of the Rotterdam classic on Sunday.

Cheruiyot has owned the Rotterdam course the last three years, winning in 2000 and placing second a year ago, but even that track record doesn't account for his achievement on Sunday.

Around 10km into the race, Cheruiyot became mixed up with another competitor and fell hard to the ground, breaking his arm. But Cheruiyot picked himself up and by the 34km point, he and Biwott were putting distance between themselves and the rest of the lead runners.

Over the next three kilometers, Biwott inched ahead of Cheruiyot and was unchallenged from there, winning in 2:08:39. Cheruiyot was 1:04 behind in second, with Jose Manuel Martinez of Spain taking third another 12 seconds back.

The victory lengthened an impressive string of marathons for Biwott, who finished second in Edmonton at last year's world championships. The Kenyan has now won six of his last 12 marathons.

As strong as the Kenyans were in the men's race, the Japanese were even more dominant in the women's marathon, sweeping the top three positions.

Takemi Ominami won with a personal-best time of 2:23:43, followed by Masako Chiba and Junko Akagi.