Eliud Kipchoge hass done it again, reaching the line in 2:08:38 to become only the third man to retain an Olympic marathon title. The Kenyan won by 1:20, the biggest victory margin in an Olympic marathon since Frank Shorter’s win in 1972.
Abdi Nageeye was next in 2:09:58, two seconds clear of Bashir Abdi who took the bronze.
An extraordinary end to an extraordinary Olympic Games.
What a performance.
As he forges on, Kipchoge looks more like a solitary figure out on a morning training run than a man at the front of an Olympic marathon. He’s built a 1:10 lead as he passes the 40-kilometre marker (2:01:55) with no other runner within view. Such is Kipchoge’s dominance this morning.
KIPCHOGE IS IN TOTAL COMMAND.
After his break in the 30th kilometre, he’s poured it on, opening up a 27-second lead through 35 kilometres (1:46:59).
At the moment, three men are battling for the next two medals: Cherono, Ayad Lamdassem of Spain and Belgian Bashir Abdi. (Apologies for my earlier mis-ID. It won’t happen again.)
KIPCHOGE MAKES HIS BREAK
At 30km (1:32:31) we were down to eight, with Kipchoge very much in charge. That apparently wasn’t to his liking so less than a kilometre later, he injected a little surge that created considerable daylight between him and teammates Cherono and Kipruto. Is he planning to cover the last 10 kilometres on his own?
At the moment, the battle for silver is between the Kenyan pair of Cherono and Kipruto, Bashir Abdi of Belgium and Dutchman Abdi Nageeye.
Meanwhile, Rupp has dropped well back and is out of contention.
THE 27TH KILOMETRE..
We have the first big break of the race. We’re down to 12 in the lead pack with Kipchoge dictating the proceedings. Rupp is there, along with Belgian Bashir Abdi, Dutchmen Abdi Nageeye, Kipchoge’s teammates Cherono and Kipruto, and Alphonce Felix Simbu of Tanzania.
WE’RE AT 25K
The pack is beginning to spread out a bit more, now with 22 runners within a second of the lead. Kipchoge’s transponder was the first to break the 25k mark, in 1:17:24 – which is 2:10:38 pace.
About a minute later, Nascimento suddenly fell to the ground, apparently hit by a cramp. That set him back several seconds and as he got back up to try and make up ground, he dropped again, this time holding his stomach. The medical team was on the scene immediately. Hope he’s ok.
WE’RE HALFWAY HOME!
And the runners are staying cool, loose and calm. And playful too, as illustrated by a nice little fist bump between Nascimento and Kipchoge who have spent much of the past five kilometres side-by-side and stride-for-stride.
South Africa’s Stephen Mokoka brought the field through the half in 1:05:13 – that’s just 2:10:26 pace. As in yesterday’s women’s race, we’ll likely see a faster second half.
Suarez is still enjoying his time in the spotlight, running comfortably at the front. Kipruto and Abdi Nageeye of the Netherlands, Lelisa Desisa and Rupp are also running well.
THE STEADY PACE CONTINUES
The lead pack is beginning to spread out a bit, but it’s still a substantial group at 15km.
Colombian Jeison Alexander Suarez and Daniel do Nascimento of Brazil, 2:10 and 2:09 marathoners respectively, have been taking turns at the front. They’re either having the runs of their lives, or will fade back soon. Rupp, Kipchoge and Cherono are also taking their turns at the front to try and dictate the tempo.
The 15km split was 46:03, which is 2:09:32 pace.
Conditions at 15k: 27.2°C, 72.8% relative humidity.
AT 10KM, LITTLE CHANGE
The tempo has slowed a bit over the last five kilometre stretch; the leaders reached 10km in 30:53, or 2:10:19 pace. That tempo equates to a large group at the front, with 46 runners within two seconds of lead.
Eliud Kipchoge, teammates Lawrence Cherono and Amos Kipruto and 2016 bronze medallist Galen Rupp are all running comfortably at the front.
The first major casualty is Ethiopian Shura Kitata, winner of the 2020 London Marathon that ended Kipchoge’s 10-race winning streak.
‘They’ meaning 106 runners representing 45 countries and the Olympic Refugee Team. Nearly half of those are in the front group that just passed five kilometres, officially reached in 15:17, or about 2:09 pace.
Start time conditions:
26C, 80% humidity, winds from southeast at 14kph
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