Tiki Gelana of Ethiopia didn’t think she could finish the Olympic marathon Sunday, much less cross the line first to deny Kenya another gold medal in the historic race.
Midway through the endurance test Gelana, 24, got plowed from behind while collecting a water bottle on a narrow street in central London. She hit the pavement on all fours, scrambled to get up with her bottle then was hit again by Portugal’s Jessica Agusto.
Later Gelana showed off a bandaged elbow and pointed to her hip, shaking her head that yes, it also hurt.
After the incident she thought, “Oh, wow, how can I finish? All of a sudden I made it.”
Yes she did. Gelana became the first Ethiopian woman in 18 years to win the marathon, finishing with an Olympic record time of 2 hours 23 minutes 7 seconds. Gelana was 5 seconds in front of Priscah Jeptoo of Kenya and 22 seconds ahead of bronze medalist Tatyana Petrova Arkhipova of Russia.
Kenya’s Mary Keitany, two-time winner of the London Marathon, was fourth after being dropped by the leading pack in the final, dramatic stages.
Americans Shalane Flanagan and Kara Goucher finished 10th and 11th, respectively, both with respectable times. Flanagan, a 2008 Olympic bronze medalist in the 10,000 meters, came across in 2:25:51. Goucher ended in 2:26:07.
Desiree Davila of Rochester, Minn., dropped out early because of a lingering hip problem.
“You can’t fake the marathon,” she said.
Flanagan, who trains with Goucher in Portland, Ore., were among the leaders midway through the race on a cool day with soaking rain and patches of glaring sun.
Source: The Salt Lake Tribune
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