Eliud Kipchoge has ended Kenya’s long wait for another gold medal in the men’s marathon after winning the Sunday, August 21 event at the Rio Olympics.
Kenya last won gold in the men’s marathon in Beijing back in 2008 when the late Samuel Wanjiru made history by winning Kenya’s first gold medal in the marathon, reports Tuko.
Kipchoge broke away from his biggest threat, Ethiopia’s Feyisa Lilesa around the 35th of the 42 kms.
Kipchoge put a smile on many spectators and millions other watching on televisions around the world when he jokingly gestured to the Ethiopian to follow him before breaking away.
The Kenyan won the race in a time of 2:08:04 with his closest competitor Lilesa of Ethiopia taking the silver medal and Unites States’ Galen Rupp winning the the bronze medal.
Kipchoge changed specialities for a marathon career from 5,000 metres back in 2013.
The 2012 Olympics champion Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda could not match the Kenyan, the Ethiopian, the American or even ten other athletes who finished the race ahead of him settling for a disappointing 14th position. The other Kenyans – Stanley Biwott and Wesley Korir failed to finish with the former suffering muscle cramps.
Alphonce Felix Simbu made history for his country Tanzania by being the highest finisher in an Olympic marathon when he finished 5th in the race.
Kenya has ended the outing with an impressive six haul of gold medals with the first one having been won in women’s marathon thanks to a superb run by Jemima Sumgong while David Rudisha retained his gold in the men’s 800 metres.
Faith Kipyegon won gold in the women’s 1500 metres and Conselsus Kipruto continued Kenya’s domination of the men’s 3000 metres steeplechase when he won a gold medal for Kenya defeating the defending champion Ezekiel Kipkemboi a.k.a. Baba Yao. Vivian Cheruiyot also won gold in the women’s 5000 metres – the first for Kenya in the competition’s history.
Kenya also has six silver medals and one bronze and currently stands in the thirteenth position ahead of all other African countries.