Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya wins men’s marathon; USA’s Galen Rupp takes bronze

RIO DE JANEIRO — Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya broke away fin the final miles to claim the gold medal in the men’s marathon on Sunday in the streets of Rio.

Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya crosses the finish line in the marathon.

Galen Rupp claimed bronze, becoming the first American to medal in the event since 2004 and just the third to win a medal (Frank Shorter took gold in 1972 and silver in 1976) since 1924.

Kipchoge finished in a time of 2 hours, 8 minutes and 44 seconds. Ethiopia’s Feyisa Lilesa (2:09:54) took silver. Rupp’s time was 2:10:05.

Kipchoge, 31, is a former world champion at 5,000 meters, and he has Olympic silver and bronze medals from the 2008 and 2004 Olympics. He also is a two-time winner of the London Marathon and a winner of the Chicago Marathon.

It was a remarkable Olympic medal for the 30-year-old Rupp, who made his marathon debut in February with a victory in the U.S. Team trials.

USA’s Paul Chelimo takes silver in crazy 5,000; Bernard Lagat ends up sixth.

Rupp spent nearly the entire race among the first pack, stride for stride with several international front-runners from Kenya and Ethiopia, before joining Kipchoge and Lilesa in the lead group for the race’s final stretch in a three-man push for gold.

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Slowly and steadily, he weaved his way through the competition. Rupp sat in 11th at the midway point of the marathon, eighth after 25 kilometers and fifth after 30 kilometers before making his way into the top three.

He had entered Rio with a bold quest: to medal in both the 10,000 meters and the marathon, the two most demanding distances races in the Summer Games. He ended up fifth in the 10,000, but he adds this marathon bronze to the 10K silver he won in London in 2012.

The last American to attempt the 10,000 and the marathon in the same Olympics was Dan Browne at the 2004 Athens Games. He finished the events in 12th and 65th, respectively.

Jared Ward, 27, finished sixth (2:11:30), setting a personal best. Meb Keflezighi, 41, twice stopped during the race to catch his breath, in clear discomfort, before finishing 33rd in 2:16:46..

Keflezighi, the last American to medal in the marathon (silver at the 2004 Athens Games), slipped on the wet pavement at the finish line, but brought cheers when he did push-ups before rising to cross the line.

Rupp’s medal continues the strong U.S. Presence in track and field at these Games — 32 medals — particularly in middle distance and distance races.


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