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Eliud Kipchoge wins gold in men’s marathon in Kenya’s best ever Olympics

Eliud Kipchoge’s victory on Sunday in the men’s marathon at the Rio Olympic Games, wrapped up Kenya’s best ever outing in the Olympics since their debut at the 1956 Melbourne Summer Games.

Kipchoge’s conquest in 2 hours, 08 minutes and 44 seconds in the rain-drenched race, brought Kenya’s final tally to 13 medals: six gold, six silver and one bronze.

This was a massive improvement from the 2012 London Olympics where the country won 12 medals; two gold, four silver and six bronze.

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The performance surpassed the previous best show at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

In 2008, it was Samuel Wanjiru (now deceased), who completed Kenya’s outing at the Beijing Olympics with the first ever victory in the marathon. That brought Kenya’s Beijing tally to 14 medals; six gold, four silver and four bronze.

Rio is the best ever show by virtue of having surpassed Beijing’s silver medals count by two after a tie on gold medals of six.

That the athletes put behind them numerous challenges and problems they faced owing to bad leadership by the National Olympic Committee of Kenya to register the greatest show is a commendable show of perseverance and patriotism.

Notably, Rio Olympics will go down as the best by Kenyan women after the 2008 Beijing Olympics where they won their first Olympic gold medals. Pamela Jelimo (800m) and Nancy Jebet Lagat (1,500m), made history as the first Kenyan women to win Olympic gold medals in Beijing 2008.

Kenya’s 13 medal all came from athletics, ranking them second behind winners USA (13-10-9).

BEST IN AFRICA

Kenya topped in Africa but would settle for position overall, behind winners USA with 43 gold, 37 silver and 37 bronze medals.

It’s Jemimah Sumgong, who gave Kenya its maiden victory in women’s marathon on Sunday last week with an Olympic record time of 2:24:04 before David Rudisha retained his 800m title last Monday.

Then Faith Chepng’etich stunned World champion and record holder Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba for women’s 1,500m victory on Wednesday morning, before Conseslus Kipruto upheld Kenya’s dominance with victory in men’s 3,000m steeplechase on Wednesday evening.

After winning silver in 10,000m on August 12, Vivian Cheruiyot would claim her first victory at the Olympics, stunning favourite Almaz Ayana from Ethiopia in 5,000m on Friday last week.

On Thursdays, Boniface Mucheru, the Africa 400m hurdles champion made history as the first Kenyan to win an Olympic medal in 400m hurdles when he claimed silver in 400m hurdles.

BROKE NATIONAL RECORD

Not only did Mucheru post a personal best of 47.78 minutes but also broke the one-year-old national record of 47.79 set by Nicholas Bett when winning the World title in Beijing last year.

Then the phenomenal Julius Yego, the reigning World and Commonwealth champion, was forced to settled for silver in men’s javelin after he got injured on his second throw.

The throw that gave Yego the silver was his season’s best of 88.24 m as he lost the battle to Germany’s Thomas Röhler, who hauled  90.30m in his last fifth throw.