Kiprotich Pulls Upset in Men's Olympic Marathon
Keflezighi finishes 4th in final London Olympics 2012 track & field event
Posted Wednesday, 15 August, 2012
LONDON - (August 12, 2012) - Eight years after his Olympic silver, Meb Keflezighi (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) returned to the Olympic Marathon at the age of 37 to finish fourth in 2 hours, 11 minutes, 6 seconds under hot and humid conditions Sunday morning on the streets of London.
On a tour of London landmarks with huge crowds lining the multi-loop 8 mile course, Stephen Kiprotich, 23, of Uganda brought home his country's first medal of the London Games and only their third athletics medal all-time as he won gold in 2:08:01, the third fastest Olympic Marathon time ever. He was followed by two-time world champion Abel Kirui in 2:08:27 and Wilson Kipsang in 2:09:37, both of Kenya.
It was an unfortunate day for Ryan Hall (Flagstaff, Ariz.) and Abdi Abdirahman (Tucson, Ariz.) who succumbed to injuries mid-way through the race and stepped off the course around 18K. Hall withdrew after the first large loop and moments later Abdirahman also called it a day. Abdirahman ran with the lead pack for the first 5K before fading to 29th at the 15K mark. Hall found himself running in no-mans-land by the 10K split where he stood in 38th place before fading back to 50th place at 15K.
The 26.2 mile race began to develop in earnest at the 12K mark when Kipsang made a decisive move to the front, and quickly developed a 16-second lead over the chase pack. Kipsang held onto the lead for 14K before Kirui and Kiprotich reeled him in.
With three runners chasing the lead pack individually, Keflezighi was able to run with a pack of eight men who were just two minutes behind the lead at the 30K mark. Over the next 5K, Keflezighi increased his pace, pulled away from the chase pack and set his sights on picking off the lone athletes separating him from the podium. During the final two miles of the race, Keflezighi passed both Marilson dos Santos of Brazil and Kentaro Nakamoto of Japan to secure his fourth place finish.
"Coming here I told my wife, 'I have a feeling I'm going to finish fourth.' Did I want to finish fourth - no. But at the World or Olympic Games I'll take it, especially considering that I did not make the Olympics [in 2008]. In 2004, to be a silver medalist, I know how that feels, so I congratulate those people who finished first, second and third. Everybody works hard to accomplish such a thing and I am very proud of myself and our country to finish fourth. It's not where you want to be sometimes, but fourth place at my last Olympics - I'll take it anytime," said Keflezighi, a three-time Olympian.
Keflezighi's performance is the best place by an American since his 2004 silver medal in 2:11:29 and the second fastest Olympic Marathon time by an American behind Frank Shorter's 2:10:46 silver medal performance at Montreal 1976.
London, GBR, Sunday, August 12, 2012
1) Stephen Kiprotich (UGA), 2:08:01, Gold
2) Abel Kirui (KEN), 2:08:27, Silver
3) Wilson Kipsang (KEN), 2:09:37, Bronze
4) Meb Keflezighi (USA), 2:11:06
5) Marilson dos Santos (BRA), 2:11:10
6) Kentaro Nakamoto (JPN), 2:11:16
7) Cuthbert Nyasango (ZIM), 2:12:08
8) Paulo Roberto Paula (BRA), 2:12:17
9) Henryk Szost (POL), 2:12:28
10) Ruggero Pertile (ITA), 2:12:45
Abdi Abdirahman (USA), DNF - injury
Ryan Hall (USA), DNF - injury
Full results and more at: www.iaaf.org/mini/oly12/Results/ResultsByDate.aspx
Team USA produces impressive London 2012 Olympic Games
With its medal tally of 29 medals in London, Team USA scored its biggest Olympic medal collection since the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona - a Games held in the aftermath of the fall of the Soviet Bloc.
2012 was an Olympics of historic significance for the U.S. team. It dominated track & field competition, in medals and points scoring, with USA, Russia and Jamaica going 1-2-3 in both measures. In medal tally, Team USA finished with 29 medals (9 gold, 13 silver, 7 bronze), including two distance silver medals (1500m - Leo Manzano and 10,000m - Galen Rupp), with Russia second with 18 (8 gold, 4 silver, 6 bronze) and Jamaica was third with 12 medals - 4 each of gold, silver and bronze.
In the placing tables, which score 1st through 10th place, Team USA dominated with 304 points. Russia was second with 177 and Jamaica third with 107. Of significant note is that in addition to its 20 medals, Team USA scored nine fourth-place finishes.
Visit USATF.org for more information.