Jemima Sumgong, 31, is Kenya’s first Olympic Golf medalist at the Rio Olympics 2016. Crossing the line at 2:24:04, the London Marathon winner beat Kenyan born Bahraini Eunice Kirwa to Silver and Mare Dibaba to Bronze. In so doing, Sumgong became the first Kenyan woman to win an Olympic Marathon Gold medal ever. Kenya won silver in 2012,2008 and 2004.
Running in hot conditions, Sumgong started the race strongly and by the halfway mark was in the leading pack, staying close to Dibaba who pulled away around the 20km mark. With ten kilometers to go, the top three runners, along with Tsegaye and Mazuronak of Ethiopia and Belarus respectively pulled clear of the rest and began to push hard for podium places.
At the two hour mark, it was clear that Sumgong was set for a podium finish, having pulled clear of the rest of the pack with Kirwa and Dibaba. She picked up her pace and raced clear to finish as her two compatriots faded, eventually finishing nine seconds ahead of Kirwa.
Speaking to the Associated Press after the race, Sumgong said,
“I was never worried I’d lose this. At 40km, I knew the gold was mine.”
Congratulations, Sumgong, and all the best in your future races. Kenya is proud