Jemima Jelagat Sumgong triumphed in the Women’s Marathon at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Sambodromo, Rio de Janeiro on Sunday August 14, 2016.
Jemimah Jelagat Sumgong became the first Kenyan woman to win the Olympic marathon within a time of 2 hours, 24 minutes, 4 seconds.
Besides breaking the record as the first Kenyan to win gold medal at the Rio 2016 Olympics, she is the first ever to win gold in the women’s marathon.
This is coming at a time when Kenyans’ hopes seem to have vanished after a series of bad news from Rio, including one that her compatriots Visiline Jepkesho and Beijing Worlds silver winner, Helah Kiprop, trailed off in the competition.
The female athlete held tightly onto the lead before reaching for victory at the 39th kilometre in a three-way fight for gold that also had Ethiopia’s Mare Dibaba in the picture.
As they reached the final kilometre, Sumgong made the last surge for the biggest title in career, passing world champion Dibaba and arrived at 2:24:04. The London Marathon winner also raced past Kirwa as she wrestled over the last two kilometres with her.
Bahraini’s Eunice Kirwa edged Sumgong to win bronze medal at last year’s Worlds in Beijing. But she grabbed the silver in 2:24:13 this year and Dibaba closed the podium in 2:24:30, coming third.
In the second half of the race, Sumgong, 31, covered the race in 1:11:08 to scale the heights never before been reached by a female Kenyan marathoner, with Catherine ‘The Great’ Ndereba (2004 and 2008) who is in Rio as an official and Priscah Jeptoo (2012) bringing the country three silver medals from the ultimate distance race.
“I’m very grateful to win Kenya’s first gold medal in Rio. It was very hot but everybody had to get through the heat. I had to control my body and listen to my body very carefully.
“I was in Beijing but I was pretty disappointed that I wasn’t able to win a medal or make it on the podium, but I knew one time, one day, I would be somewhere.
“I was never worried that I’d lose this. At the 40km I knew the gold was mine.
Here Is The Leading Results
1 958 Jemima Jelagat Sumgong KEN 2:24:04
2 452 Eunice Jepkirui Kirwa BRN 2:24:13
3 644 Mare Dibaba ETH 2:24:30
4 651 Tirfi Tsegaye ETH 2:24:47
5 397 Volha Mazuronak BLR 2:24:48
6 1340 Shalane Flanagan USA 2:25:26 SB
7 1352 Desireé Linden USA 2:26:08 SB
8 446 Rose Chelimo BRN 2:27:36
9 1333 Amy Cragg USA 2:28:25
10 1138 Hye-Song Kim PRK 2:28:36 SB
11 1137 Hye-Gyong Kim PRK 2:28:36