Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya held off strong competition to take gold in the men’s marathon at Rio on Sunday.
Kipchoge – winner of the last two London marathons and two-time Olympic medallist – was one of the favourites from the outset, along with Uganda’s Stephen Kiprotich, and youngest ever winner of a world-championship, Ghirmay Ghebreslassie of Eritrea.
Representing Great Britain were Eritrea-born Tsegai Tewelde, who claimed political asylum in Scotland eight years ago after travelling to Edinburgh for the world cross country championships. Brothers Callum and Derek Hawkins were also flying the flag.
The race got underway in miserable wet conditions with Nurundi’s Abraham Niyonkuru leading at the 5km mark in 15:31. Callum Hawkins and Tewelde were towards the back of the main group with Derek Hawkins a minute behind them.
Almost an hour in and Callum Hawkins found himself leading the front pack, though it didn’t last for too long as Kenya’s Wesley Korir made his way to the front to lead at the halfway point.
Just after the halfway mark a foot injury that had been plaguing Tewelde in the run-up to the Games proved too much and the 26-year-old was forced to drop out. Derek Hawkins had also dropped way behind the rest of the group.
Callum Hawkins was faring better, still up at the front, with favourite Kipchoge and American Galen Rupp – Mo Farah’s training partner and the fifth place finisher of the 10,000m final – joining him.
An hour and a half in, however, Hawkins was well and truly dislodged from the front of the pack.
The breakaway three going forward were Kipchoge, Rupp and Ethiopia’s Feyisa Lilesa.
And it was Kipchoge who pressed the hardest with a 13-second lead on Lilesa with just six kilometres to go.
Kipchoge maintained his lead to take gold in 2:04.44, with silver medallist Lilesa just over a minute behind him and Rupp finishing 11 seconds later to take the bronze for USA.
After a sterling effort, Callum Hawkins finished in ninth place.
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