Eliud Kipchoge, Galen Rupp, Feyisa Lelisa, Olympic marathon, August 22, 2016, photo by PhotoRun.net
Eliud Kipchoge, right after his masterful win in London in April 2016, noted that he hoped he would be on the Olympic team. He wanted an Olympic win, and he did just that! Eliud Kipchoge is the finest marathoner in the world in 2016. Here’s the story by Justin Lagat on the the Olympic marathon, with a Kenyan point of view!
Eliud Kipchoge adds an Olympic gold medal to his impressive records in running
On the last day of competitions at the Rio Olympic Games, Eliud Kipchoge ran his eighth marathon and continued to score another win making it a total of seven wins so far and one second-place finish. The time he used to win his first ever Olympic gold medal, 2:08:44, was the slowest marathon time he has ever run in his entire road running career, but perhaps this was his best achievement ever.
Unlike the women’s marathon that had started on a warm sunny day, the men’s started in a drizzle. White caps were used for two different purposes here; women to protect themselves from the sun and the men used them to prevent their heads from the light showers.
The weather looked more favorable during the men’s race as the field went through the first five kilometers in 15:31 and almost the whole group of about one hundred athletes were all still in touch with the leaders. But, it was quite unfavorable for the fans who wished to line up the streets to watch the event, as there were few spectators along the streets in the first stages of the race.
Eliud Kipchoge was always visible at the front of the pack and seemed to be in control. At one time, when the pace slowed down a bit at around fifteen kilometers, he moved to the front and increased the paced a bit, but in a slow motion replay, we saw him motion to his team mates not to follow him yet.
From 30km, the pace was increased and the medal contenders started to move away from the rest. Soon, it was Kipchoge, Ethiopia’s Feyisa Lelisa and USA’s Galen Rupp remaining in the leading pack of three. Lelisa closely followed the heels of Kipchoge who seemed not to entertain the idea and decided to end the race early by breaking away. By 40km, Kipchoge already had a 36-seconds lead on Lelisa who was 12 seconds ahead of Rupp.
A smile began to form on Kipchoge’s face as he approached the finish line, and waving to the crowds before cutting the tape. Lelisa followed one minute and ten seconds later in 2:09:54 to win silver. Galen Rupp, on his second marathon, crossed the finish line in 2:10:05 to take the bronze medal.
The marathon became the only event that both the men and women winners came from Kenya. Coincidentally, the two were also this year’s London marathon winners.
Kipchog summed up another very successful Olympic outing for Kenya as he made the total number of gold medals to six and moved Kenya to second place behind the USA on the athletics medal standings and ahead of Jamaica, also with six gold medals but with less silver medals.
Now, it is time to watch some replays and cheer wildly, even though we already know the winners, as we wait for the next Olympic Games to happen in Tokyo 2020!