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Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Kenyan Kipchoge romps to Rio marathon gold

AFP , Sunday 21 Aug 2016
Eliud Kipchoge
Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge crosses the finish line to win the Men's Marathon athletics event of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Sambodromo in Rio de Janeiro on August 21, 2016. (AFP)
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Red-hot favourite Eliud Kipchoge stormed to a runaway gold medal in a wet men's marathon on Sunday, the final day of competition at the Rio Olympics.
 
The Kenyan broke away at the 35km mark and romped home to win in a time of two hours, eight minutes, 44 seconds -- well over a minute quicker than Ethiopia's Feyisa Lilesa, who took silver. American Galen Rupp claimed bronze in 2:10:05.
 
In the shadow of the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue, poking through the rain clouds from high above the city, Kipchoge produced a virtuoso performance as he added gold to the 5,000m silver he won in Beijing in 2008 and his bronze from Athens 2004.
 
"It feels great," he told AFP after winning Kenya's sixth gold medal of the Games, all of them in athletics.
 
"I felt I had a little bit in the tank and it was comfortable, it was very comfortable. This is the best win of my life."
 
It was a seventh victory in eight marathons for the 31-year-old phenomenon, who won the London Marathon for the second year running in April, coming within eight seconds of Dennis Kimetto's world record of 2:02:57.
 
A morning downpour put paid to any thoughts of a world record as 155 runners representing 80 countries splashed around the course snaking through the heart of Rio's historic centre in conditions miles removed from the holiday brochures of sun-kissed Rio.
 
Tokyo champion Lilesa had looked in the mood to push Kipchoge while Rupp kept pace after the trio dropped Ethiopian Lemi Berhanu just after the halfway point.
 
But Kipchoge simply proved too strong, sprinting home along the home straight of the Sambadrome, home of Rio's famed carnival, to loud cheers from Brazilian fans before dropping to his knees and crossing himself in celebration.

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