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Originally published Sunday, April 13, 2014 at 7:08 PM

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North Korea opens up its marathon

The streets of North Korea’s showcase capital were filled with runners from all over the world Sunday for the annual Pyongyang marathon, which was open to foreign amateurs this year for the first time.


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Marathons

North Korea opens up

The streets of North Korea’s showcase capital were filled with runners from all over the world Sunday for the annual Pyongyang marathon, which was open to foreign amateurs this year for the first time.

Tens of thousands of North Koreans lined the streets to applaud, cheer and sometimes high-five the runners, who were followed by a truck blaring patriotic music. They stood and roared as North Korea’s Pak Chol, who completed the men’s event in 2 hours, 12 minutes and 26 seconds, crossed the finish line. Compatriots Kim Hye Gyong and her twin sister, Kim Hye Song, finished first and second in the women’s race. The winning women’s time was 2:27:04.

Much of North Korea remains off-limits to foreigners, but Pyongyang, with its broad avenues, plazas and ubiquitous monuments, is more accessible than other places in the secretive and isolated country.

World-record holder Wilson Kipsang won the London Marathon for the second time, producing a course-record time to see off a strong field.

The 32-year-old Kenyan completed the 26.2-mile route in 2 hours, 4 minutes, 29 seconds — 11 seconds inside the previous fastest run in London by Emmanuel Mutai in 2011.

There was a sprint finish in the women’s race in front of Buckingham Palace, and two-time world champion Edna Kiplagat of Kenya won in 2:20:21 — three seconds ahead of Florence Kiplagat.

In other marathons, prerace favorite Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya won the Rotterdam Marathon (2:05) but failed in his bid to break the course record on a windy day in the port city.

Getu Feleke of Ethiopia overcame stomach problems in the closing miles of the Vienna City Marathon to win the event in a course-record time of 2:05:41.

Soccer

Earthquakes, Crew tie

Chris Wondolowski scored on a header in the 51st minute to help the host San Jose Earthquakes tie the Columbus Crew 1-1.

Wondolowski has three goals this season for San Jose (0-2-2). Federico Higuain scored his fourth goal of the season with a left-footed strike in the 44th minute for Columbus (3-1-1). The Crew is unbeaten in three road games this year.

Liverpool took command of the captivating Premier League title race by beating Manchester City 3-2 in a match of wide-ranging emotions at Anfield, though the destiny of the trophy is also in Chelsea’s hands after its 1-0 win at Swansea.

Liverpool is two points ahead of Chelsea in the English Premier League, while Atletico leads Spain’s La Liga by three points over Real Madrid after a 2-1 win at Getafe.

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Abby Wambach didn’t play in the Western New York Flash’s NWSL season-opener at Washington because of a fractured orbital bone below her left eye. Western New York won 3-1.

Tennis

Verdasco wins in Houston

Fernando Verdasco won the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship in Houston for his sixth ATP World Tour title and first since 2010, beating Spanish countryman Nicolas Almagro 6-3, 7-6 (7-4).

In other finals, Alize Cornet of France saved a match point before beating Camila Giorgi of Italy 7-6 (7-3), 5-7, 7-5 to win the Katowice Open in Poland for her fourth career WTA title.

Guillermo Garcia-Lopez won his first title in nearly four years after rallying to beat Marcel Granollers 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 in an all-Spanish final at the Grand Prix Hassan II in Casablanca, Morocco.

Golf

Ortiz closes with 68 to win

Mexico’s Carlos Ortiz won the El Bosque Mexico Championship in Leon for his second Web.com Tour victory of the season.

The 22-year-old former North Texas player closed with a 4-under 68 at El Bosque Country Club for a two-stroke victory over Justin Thomas. Ortiz finished at 13-under 275.

Former Husky Alex Prugh (69) tied for 13th at 283. Andrew Putnam (66) of University Place tied for 24th at 285. Jeff Gove (75) of Seattle tied for 41st at 288.

ELSEWHERE

• Reigning MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez of Spain claimed his second consecutive Grand Prix of the Americas title in Austin, Texas, beating teammate Dani Pedrosa of Spain.

• The Italian motorcycling federation said rider Emanuele Cassani died after being involved in a crash at the Coppa Italia season-opener in Misano Adriatico. He was 25.

Niki Terpstra of the Netherlands won the Paris-Roubaix cycling race for the first time, making a decisive break near the end of the one-day classic to win it by 20 seconds and upstage prerace favorites Tom Boonen of Belgium and Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland.

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