A nice slideshow from the US marathon Trials in Houston
Shalane Flanagan demonstrated her amazing racing range to awesome effect as she powered away in the late stages to clinch victory in a huge PB and CBP of 2h25:38 at the US Olympic Marathon Trials in Houston, Texas, ensuring of a place on the American team to London in summer.
The Beijing 10000m bronze medallist was content to stay with the leading pack for the best part of the way, cruising in total control throughout, and made her move only past the 21st mile to narrow the affair between herself and Desiree Davila before moving up a further gear towards victory over the final couple of miles.
Davila opted to hold on for runner-up rather than give chase, cramping up slightly, to come off well and safe in 2h25:55 in the end as the threatening shadow of surging back Kara Goucher followed slightly behind to wrap up the third Olympic spot in 2h26:06.
Amy Hastings will also travel to London but only as a reserve as she came fourth in 2h27:17 in a fast championships race of very good depth that saw American record holder and Athens bronze medallist Deena Kastor slip well behind the pace to end up sixth in 2h30:40 and outside the qualifying places.
Incidentally, that was just the second outing over the distance for winner Flanagan whose track speed could tell if it comes to a finish up the Mall so Paula Radcliffe will need to pay heed in that direction.
In the men’s race, Meb Keflezighi weathered the storm of defending champion Ryan Hall, who charged through the first half in a searing 63:25, before moving past his tiring rival late to claim top honours in 2h09:08 to 2h09:30, both comfortably checking in on the plane to the British capital.
Abdi Abdirahman held on to a rather surprise third in 2h09:47 as his enterprise to follow Hall’s sizzling pace in close quarters paid dividents to leave a disappointed Dathan Ritzenhein effectively empty-handed in fourth in 2h09:55, turning his sights on securing a spot in the 10000m later in the season now.