What an upset for Kenyan marathon running! After a disappointing showing of the Kenyan middle and long distance men on the track at the London Olympics the marathoners were aiming to make up for the disappointment on the last day of the Games but failed.
Stephen Kiprotich from Uganda is the London Olympic marathon champion, beating Abel Kirui and Wilson Kipsang of Kenya who won silver and bronze. It was Kipsang the Kenyan, fastest runner in the field with his PB of 2:03:42 (Frankfurt 2011), who set off early in the race and held a 13 second lead until being caught by his countryman Abel Kirui and Stephen Kiprotich around the 25 km mark. Surprisingly it was the runner from Uganda who took off with about 5 km to go, and the Kenyan contenders were unable to close the gap.
It was the second Olympic gold medal for Uganda after John Akii-Bua won the 400 m hurdles in Munich in 1972. Kiprotich came to London with a PB of 2:07:20 which he ran at the Enschede marathon in the Netherlands in 2011. He was 3rd in the Tokyo Marathon in February 2012 (2:07:50).
In winning the Olympic marathon Stephen Kiprotich scored his first WMM points (25). Silver medalist Abel Kirui now now joins a four-way tie for second in the 2011-2012 series, all with 40 points (the others: Wesley Korir, Moses Mosop, Emmanuel Mutai, all from Kenya). Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya still holds the lead with 50 before his start at the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON on September 30th. The three remaining autumn races will decide the 2011-2012 WMM series.
Wilson Kipsang takes the early lead in the 2012-2013 series with 35 points, the first male to score twice this year.