Jemima Sumgong Wins 1st Gold for Kenya in Olympic Women’s Marathon

Jemima Jelagat Sumgong of Kenya celebrates her victory in the women’s marathon. (Photo: Jack Gruber, USA TODAY Sports)

article via usatoday.com

RIO DE JANEIRO — Accomplishing a distance-running first for Kenya, a nation known for distance running, is no easy feat. So Jemima Sumgong‘s accomplishment Sunday at the Rio Olympics was indeed an accomplishment.Sumgong beat 156 competitors along a picturesque course on the sweltering streets of Rio, surging in the final 2 kilometers to claim Kenya’s first gold in the Olympic women’s marathon.It was an accomplishment that was nearly derailed, and not by the competition. Less than a mile from the finish line, a man with a sign jumped over the railings ahead of Sumgong and dashed onto the course.

Police officers immediately cut off the protester, who leaped over the fence and ran away.”I was scared,” Sumgong said initially. “I thinking he could maybe … he could grab one of my colleagues.”But she ran on undeterred.Sumgong finished in 2 hours, 24 minutes, 4 seconds. Kenya-born Eunice Kirwa of Bahrain was second (2:24:13), and world champion Mare Dibaba of Ethiopia (2:24:30) was third.

Shalane Flanagan (2:25.26), who hung on with the lead pack for about 40 kilometers, finished sixth to lead all three Americans in the top 10.  Des Linden (2:26:08) was seventh, and Amy Cragg (2:28:25) was ninth.

To read full article, got to: Jemima Sumgong of Kenya wins Olympic women’s marathon

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