Rio gold-winning marathoner Jemima Sumgong narrates win

She made history as first Kenyan woman to win Olympics marathon

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Jemima Sumgong
Jemima Jelagat Sumgong raises her arms in victory as she crosses the finish line of the Women’s Marathon during the athletics event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Sambodromo in Rio de Janeiro on August 14, 2016. FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP

Jemima Sumgong who delivered Kenya’s first gold in the women’s marathon has described Sunday, August 14, as the best day of her life.

Sumgong who thanked the public for their support and prayers, said they contributed to her gold medal in the women’s Olympic marathon in Brazil, reports the Star.

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“I am happy… Best day of my life,” she posted on her Facebook page where she also noted her winning time as 2.24.04.

The runner had said earlier on the same Sunday that she would do her best to clinch the medal.

The 31-year-old Sumsong defeated a strong field of marathoners as the athletics programme entered it’s third day yesterday.

She ran a tactical race from the start, staying with the leaders but opting to stay back for the better part of the race, the paper observes.

“I am elated to have won this medal. It has always been my dream to win Olympic gold and I thank God it finally came to pass. I have no words to describe my joy but we will talk more after I relax,” she said after the race.

READ: How Julius Yego almost failed to represent Kenya in Rio

Soon after her victory, leaders and members of the public alike showered her with congratulatory messages for doing Kenya proud.

“Congratulations… Kenya salutes you. History made!” President Uhuru Kenyatta said via a tweet.

Deputy President William Ruto who is also in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil to cheer on Team Kenya said: “Brilliant race by Sumgong for writing history as the first Kenyan to win women’s marathon gold at Olympics.”

National Assembly Majority leader Aden Duale and Senator Mike Sonko also joined in applauding Sumsong.

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Kenya is renowned for its long distance runners but it was not until Sunday that it won her first gold in the women’s marathon.

The only other Kenyan woman to come close was Catherine Ndereba when she won silver in Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008.

Via the Star