SAPPORO: Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge won the Olympic men’s marathon with a commanding performance in Sapporo on Sunday, winning his second straight gold medal and cementing his place among the all-time greats of the sport.
Abdi Nageeye of the Netherlands took silver and Belgium’s Bashir Abdi won bronze.
Kipchoge, 36, joins Ethiopia’s Abebe Bikila (1960 and 1964) and East Germany’s Waldemar Cierpinski (1976 and 1980) as the only runners to win back-to-back gold medals on the Olympic stage.
The world record holder has now won four Olympic medals overall, having also taken silver in 2008 and bronze in 2004 in the 5000m.
Kipchoge showed why he was the man to beat going into Sunday’s race when he took full control as he pushed ahead of the pack after the 30km mark.
By the 35km stage, he had jumped out to a lead of 27 seconds from a virtual tie 5km earlier and extended it to one minute and 17 seconds by 40km.
Kipchoge finished in two hours, eight minutes and 38 seconds, holding up two fingers as he crossed the finish line.