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Mary Keitany wins New York Marathon, ties closest finish ever

Mary Keitany

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 02: Mary Keitany of Kenya crosses the finish line to win the Pro Women’s division during the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon in Central Park on November 2, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK -- Kenyan Mary Keitany won the New York City Marathon on Sunday, tying the closest women’s victory margin ever, by three seconds in her first marathon since giving birth to her second child.

Keitany, 32, clocked 2 hours, 25 minutes, 7 seconds in her first marathon since finishing fourth at the 2012 Olympics. She missed all of 2013 due to the birth of her second child.

Keitany and countrywoman Jemima Sumgong emerged from a six-woman lead pack with about four miles left. Sumgong led Keitany by a few meters with about a mile to go before Keitany summoned her finishing surge past Sumgong in Central Park.

“When I was a few kilometers away, I just closed the gap, and I see, if I go, I might win the race,” Keitany said. “So I just tried my best and go ahead of Jemima, and it was God’s will to end like that.”

In 2004, Paula Radcliffe also won by three seconds in New York.

Portugal’s Sara Moreira was third, 53 seconds back. The top U.S. finisher was Olympian Desi Linden, who was fifth in 2:28:11.

“Honestly, I wasn’t really sure what place I was in at the end,” Linden said. “I was like, honestly, this isn’t going very well. ... When I saw I was fifth, I was a lot more happy with the overall performance.”

Keitany finished third at the 2010 and 2011 New York Marathons and won the 2012 London Marathon.

Keitany is the third different Kenyan woman to win in the last four New York Marathons. No U.S. woman has won in New York since Miki Gorman in 1977.

Sumgong, 29, was a sometimes training partner of Rita Jeptoo, the Boston and Chicago Marathon winner who failed an out-of-competition drug test in September. Sumgong had a two-year ban for a positive drug test in 2012 nullified after an appeal that she had an injection to treat a hip injury.

Denna Kastor, the 2004 U.S. Olympic marathon bronze medalist, was 11th in 2:33:18. Two-time U.S. Olympian Kara Goucher was 14th in 2:37:03.

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