MOSCOW, Russia (Sporting Alert) — Edna Kiplagat of Kenya became the first woman to successfully defend a marathon world title, following her champion run at the IAAF World Championships on day one in Moscow, Russia on Saturday.

Kiplagat, who decided against going with the early quick pace, ran herself back into contention as the race progresses before pulling away to take the gold medal in 2hr 25min 44sec.

The 33-year-old had also won the 2011 gold in Daegu.

Italian Valeria Straneo, who led for most of the race finally surrendered the lead with little over a mile to go, finished second in 2:25.58 and became the highest finisher ever in a world championships marathon for her country.

Kayoko Fukushi of Japan stuck to her game plan and was successful in taking the bronze medal with a time of 2:27.45.

African runners were picked at the start of these championships to dominate the event, but only winner Kiplagat finished amongst the top ten runners.

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