London: World record-holder Wilson Kipsang won the men's London Marathon in a course record two hours, four minutes and 29 seconds on Sunday as Britain's Mo Farah found life tough on his debut over the distance.

Wilson Kipsang of Kenya crosses the line to win the men's race in the 2014 London Marathon yesterday. Pic/AFP
Wilson Kipsang of Kenya crosses the line to win the men's race in the 2014 London Marathon yesterday. Pic/AFP 

Kipsang's smashed the previous London record of 2:04:40 set by fellow Kenyan Emmanuel Mutai in 2011. It was a second London victory for Kipsang, the 2012 champion, who outpaced compatriot Stanley Biwatt in the finishing straight.

"It's really great to win the London Marathon again," said Kipsang. "It was around 31km that I decided to push harder as I felt very comfortable and strong. I pushed again towards the finish line and that's when I broke away."

Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia, last year's winner was third, and Ayele Abshero of Ethiopia was fourth. Kenya celebrated a race double as Edna Kiplagat, runner-up for the past two years in London, won the women's event.

Kipsang and Mutai were always among the leading men's group and gradually pulled clear of the field. Farah, reigning Olympic and world 5,000 and 10,000 metres champion, finished in eighth place having failed to break Steve Jones's British record of 2:07:13, which has stood since 1985.

"I will be back," Farah told the BBC. "I'm not going to finish it like this. I gave it my all but I'm disappointed I didn't go out there and give what the crowd deserve. It was the strongest field ever put together by the London Marathon."

The two-times reigning world champion Edna Kiplagat won in 2:20:21 in with Florence Kiplagat three seconds further back in second place. After breaking away from the field, the pair remained close together until the final bend when Edna Kiplagat surged ahead.

Florence Kiplagat could not respond and Edna Kiplagat broke the finish line tape several yards in front. Ethiopia's Tirunesh Dibaba, the Olympic and world 10,000 metres champion, paid a heavy price for stopping to pick up a water bottle.