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(Daegu Athletics) S. Korea comes up short of medal in men's marathon
By Yoo Jee-ho
DAEGU, Sept. 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korea on Sunday failed to win an unofficial team marathon medal Sunday, the final day of the World Championships in Athletics.

   In the team event, which combines the three fastest times for each country, South Korea ranked sixth with a combined time of 6 hours, 57 minutes and 3 seconds.

   Jeong Jin-hyeok led the Koreans at 2:17:04. He was 23rd among individual runners. Lee Myong-seung was the next best at 2:18:05, and Hwang Jun-hyeon followed at 2:21:54.

   Entering the day with no medals, South Korea had pinned its final hopes on the marathon event. But the men's squad was missing Ji Young-jun, the fastest active marathoner for the country. He was left off the national team at the last minute after battling injuries and drug allegations, of which he was later cleared.

   The South Korean men won the team marathon silver at the 2007 championships in Osaka, Japan. Though a medal here wouldn't have counted toward the medal table, it still would have been a boost for the struggling South Korean delegation on the final day.

   None of the six finals in the evening will feature homegrown athletes.

   Kenya's Abel Kirui defended his marathon title with a time of 2:07:38. He was almost three minutes ahead of runner-up Vincent Kipruto, also from Kenya.

   Ethiopia's Feyisa Lilesa took the bronze to prevent another Kenyan marathon sweep. On Aug. 27, the first day of the championships, Kenya swept the women's marathon podium, led by Edna Ngeringwony Kiplagat.

   jeeho@yna.co.kr
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