GREAT BRITAIN’S Mara Yamauchi refused to blame her travel woes after finishing 10th in yesterday’s Virgin London Marathon.
Liliya Shobukhova, who claimed third in London a year ago on her debut over the distance, became the first Russian woman to win the event in 2:22.0.
Shobukhova sliced over two minutes off her personal to finish ahead of countrywoman Inga Abitova and Ethiopia’s Asselefech Mergia, who claimed second and third.
There were no excuses from the Oxford-born athlete, despite her lengthy journey to London thanks to the air travel havoc caused by the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud.
She said: “I can’t stand it when athletes reel off excuses. I was not as prepared as last year. It is not the end of the world.
“The time is not that slow. It was a deep field. I will have to go away and work hard and come back next year.”
But she admitted: “I was working hard to stick with that pace and a combination of the journey and having been injured during the last year.
“Maybe I was not as well prepared.
“After halfway I was on my own.
“The journey to get here tired me out a bit more than I thought.”
Tsegaye Kebede was even more convincing than Shobukhova as he finally halted Kenya’s domination of the men’s event since his fellow Ethiopian Gezahegne Abera won in 2003.
The expected challenge on Haile Gebrselassie’s world record was ruled out by a slow start, but the Olympic and World Championship bronze-medallist took charge of the race after 21 miles.
Kebede said: “The rain wasn’t very nice – it made my pace a little bit slow and because of that I had a few problems in my legs.
“I was second last year so it is good to win. Maybe next year without the rain I can run 2:04.”