BEIJING: Kenya and China took the men's and women's title respectively at the 2009 Beijing International Marathon here on Sunday.
Mugo Samuel took the lead from teammate Nicholas Manza with four kilometers remaining to win the men's race in two hours, eight minutes and 20 seconds.
Manza and Barus Benson completed the Kenyan 1-2-3 finish after crossing the line at 2:08:42 and 2:08:51.
"It's nice to win the race," said Samuel at the press conference. "Beijing Marathon is a big one and very international."
"The second half was more challenging with lots of corners and bending, and it was windy," he added.
This year's races also serve as the marathon competitions for the 11th Chinese National Games with the best Chinese finisher Han Gang, who placed seventh overall in the men's race, claiming the gold in 2:12:36.
Reigning world champion Bai Xue beat off strong late surge from Zhang Xin to capture the women's title and her first gold medal at Chinese National Games with a lackluster result of 2:34:44.
"I am honored to win the gold for our delegation," said Bai, who had been crowned at the Berlin World Championships in August.
"The two gold medals are both very important to me, featuring my first victories at World Championships and National Games respectively," She added, putting her eyes on the 2012 London Olympic Games.
"In the next three years, I will have to train systematically and try to keep myself away from injuries in order to get good results at London."
Zhang Xin and Zhu Xiaolin, who finished second and third overall in the women's category with 2:34:49 and 2:34:55, also took the silver and bronze medal for the Chinese National Games.