Samuel Kipkosgei Malakwen of Kenya gives his first interview after winning the 2012 ING Miami Marathon and Half Marathon on Sunday, January 29, 2012. ANDREW ULOZA / FOR THE MIAMI HERALD

MIAMI (AP) — Samuel Malakwen beat Teferi Bacha by about a stride in a sprint down the finish-line chute to win the Miami Marathon on Sunday.

Both runners crossed in 2 hours, 16 minutes, 55 seconds, but the Kenyan edged the Ethiopian at the tape.

“The last 100 meters was very crucial to me because I was very tired and exhausted,” Malakwen said. “He just pushed away from me. He ran fast because he saw the finish line and wanted to win. In my mind I said ‘Let him go.’ But when I saw the finish line I said ‘I will not let him go’ and I started sprinting very fast.”

Benazzouz Slimani of Italy was third in 2:19:48, and Guatemalans Alfredo Areval (2:22:44) and Mynor Armando Aguilon (2:23:55).

“I am very happy with the results,” Bacha said. “I have absolutely no grudges. I gave it my best. We were neck-and-neck starting from the half marathon. We told each other we’d help each other run personal bests. At about 50 meters left we started to sprint.

Bacha took a second too long to realize how quickly Malakwen was coming on.

“I was leading him until a few feet between me and the finish line when he caught up to me,” Bacha said. “I felt a pang in my heart when he passed me. I thought I had clinched the finish when I began to sprint, but I realized a little too late how quickly he passed me.”

Raquel Maraviglia of Argentina won the women’s race in 2:41:39, leading from the start and coming in nearly four minutes ahead of Wioletta Kryza of Poland (2:45:32) and 2011 champion Alena Vinitskaya of Belarus (2:45:48). It was Maraviglia’s fourth career marathon.

“I was trying really hard to get the Olympic ‘A’ standard qualifying time,” said the 34-year-old Maraviglia, who fell four minutes short. “Winning was my second goal so at least I achieved that. I thought the course was going to be flat, but there were more bridges than I expected.”

The 10th anniversary of the race went through Miami and Miami Beach on a clear, 66-degree morning.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.