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Boston Marathon: Meb Keflezighi first U.S. citizen to win in 3 decades

Meb Keflezighi crosses the Boston Marathon finish line on April 21, 2014
Jim Rogash/ Getty images

Meb Keflezighi won the Boston Marathon on Monday. Keflezighi is the first United States male athlete to win the Boston Marathon in 31 years according to a Chicago Tribune report on Monday. The winner of the race was born in Eritrea but now is a United States citizen. He clocked in at an official time of two hours, eight minutes and 37 seconds. The last time a United States male citizen won the Boston Marathon was in 1983 when Greg Meyer won.

Regarding the female competitors, a new course record was set on Monday. Rita Jeptoo won the women’s elite race by completing the course in two hours, 28 minutes and 57 seconds. Jeptoo, from Kenya, defended her title with the run.

Additionally, Tatyana McFadden won in the women’s wheelchair race on Monday. McFadden’s victory was the second year in a row that she had won in her category. She came from University of Illinois to be in the competition, according to a Yahoo! News report.

Regarding Meb Keflezighi, the overall winner of the Boston Marathon 2014, he has defied his age as a running athlete. He is 38 years old. Halfway through the race Keflezighi seemed to have been headed to the winner’s platform. He had a stiff challenge in Wilson Chebet who finished right behind him. Keflezighi lead by about a minute-and-a-half at one point in the race, but by the last two miles of the race, Chebet had narrowed that lead to just six seconds.

Kenya has dominated the Boston Marathon over the past 20 years. Both the men’s and women’s races have found their victors in Kenyans. Overall, Kenyans are said to have won 19 of the last 23 events. Additionally, in that 23-year span, the winner has been from a country outside of Africa only one time. Regarding the 2014 winner, Keflezighi was born in Eritrea, located in Africa, and immigrated to the United States when he was 12 years old. Previously, he won the silver medal in the 2004 Olympics in Athens and came in fourth at the 2012 London Olympics.