Kenya's Geoffrey Kirui wins the men's marathon at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in central London. AFP PHOTOKenya's Geoffrey Kirui wins the men's marathon at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in central London. AFP PHOTO
By DAVID KWALIMWA

Geoffrey Kirui won the first gold medal for Kenya at the 2017 IAAF World Championships after winning the men’s marathon on Sunday.

The 24 year old won the race in an impressive time of 2:08:27 followed by Ethiopia’s Tamirat Tola while Alphonce Simbu of Tanzania settled for bronze medal.

Simbu becomes the first Tanzanian ever to win a marathon medal at either the Olympic Games or the athletics World Championships.

Kirui’s efforts were immediately applauded by a number of Kenyans on social media, led by Cabinet Secretary for Sports Hassan Wario.

Crucially, Kirui’s medal saw Kenya provisionally move from eighth place in the medal standings to third behind the USA and South Africa.

This is Kenya’s third medal in the championships following Paul Tanui’s bronze medal in the men’s 10,000m on the opening day and Agnes Jebet’s bronze in the women’s 10,000m on Saturday night.

Kenya will have a chance to increase her medals haul later on Sunday evening in the women’s marathon which will be contested from 4pm Kenyan time.