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Sumgong claims Kenya's first gold medal in Rio

15 August 2016, 08:03

Nairobi - Jemima Sumgong claimed Kenya's first gold medal of the Rio Olympics on Sunday by winning the women's marathon.

The 31-year-old crossed the line in two hours 24 minutes and four seconds, ahead of Bahrain's Eunice Kirwa by nine seconds.

World champion Mare Dibaba of Ethiopia took bronze in 2:24.30.

The three medallists stayed together until the final 2km when Dibaba dropped off the pace in the warm conditions.

Sumgong then pulled away from Kenya-born Kirwa in the final kilometer.

"I was never worried that I'd lose this," said Sumgong. "At 40km I knew the gold was mine. At 35km I noticed that my other two team-mates had dropped off and that gave me the motivation to carry on.

"At 40km I saw there were three of us but I knew whatever happened I couldn't lose the gold and then I knew I was on the way to history."

Ethiopia's Tigist Tufa, who was favorite to win the race, pulled out before the halfway point.

It was Kenya's first victory in the Olympic women's marathon following three straight silver medals.

- Xinhua


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