Director General National Sports Commission and NigeUganda’s Stephen Kiprotich won the Olympic men’s marathon, beating Kenya’s Abel Kirui and Wilson Kipsang.
Kiprotich led at the 37km mark, despite appearing to suffer discomfort in his leg minutes earlier, and went on to win Uganda’s first medal at London 2012. “The smile broke out across Stephen Kiprotich’s face in the final few metres as the sacrifices he has made for his athletics career came to rich fruition in London. The Kenyans thought they had it won but it was not to be. Kiprotich crossed the line with the flag of Uganda over his shoulders. He ran the race of his life.”
His time of two hours, eight minutes and 11 seconds was 26 seconds clear of Kirui in second, with Kipsang a further 70 seconds back.
The Ugandan looked to be struggling with an injury to the back of his leg, but unexpectedly surged to the front and pulled away.
“It means a lot [to Uganda],” said Kiprotich. “Since 1972 we have never won a gold medal, so they are very happy.” Uganda’s last Olympic champion was 400m hurdler John Akii-Bua, who won gold at Munich in 1972
He used Jamaica as a classical example: “Jamaica takes part in only track events and they have caused upsets and shown to the world what they can do. As it is, because of Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake, the world thinks Jamaica has won the Olympics.” He said.