Coming into the Marathon in Brazil, Jemima was one of the favorites to win a medal. She lived up to the expectations.
Jemima pulled away from the rest in the final stages of the race in Rio and captured the gold medal. Despite Kenya’s wealth of distance running talent, she’s the first Kenyan woman to ever win the Olympic Marathon, which has been contested since 1984. She also becomes the first Kenyan to win Gold in this year’s Olympics after disappointing performances, particularly from the Rugby team.
Sumgong, who recovered from a fall at some point in the race to win the London Marathon in April, stayed on her feet in this race and finished in 2 hours 24 minutes & 4 seconds, breaking the tape before a cheering crowd in Rio’s Sambodromo, the parade ground where the city’s Carnival takes place every year.
Eunice Kirwa of Bahrain captured the silver medal in 2:24:13 and Mare Dibaba of Ethiopia, another pre-race favorite, took home the bronze. She completed the 26.2-mile course on the streets of Rio in 2:24:30.
Led by Kirwa, those three runners broke away from a larger pack with less than eight kilometers remaining. Sumgong stayed right behind Kirwa and passed her with about three kilometers left in the race and never looked back, eventually winning her first Olympic gold medal.