Ethiopia’s Tiki Gelana splashed to gold in a rainy Olympic marathon here Sunday.
Gelana, 24, ranked 11th in the world after wins in Rotterdam and Amsterdam over the last year, won in two hours, 23 minutes and seven seconds.
“Winning a gold in the marathon is very special for me. Marathon is my life,” she said.
“We Ethiopians think marathon is our national sport. So this gold medal has a great value in Ethiopia.”
Kenya’s Priscah Jeptoo was just five seconds back for silver, and Russia’s Tatyana Petrova Arkhipova, who had led in some early stages, won bronze in 2:23:29.
“”I had to react to try to follow Tiki at the end but also the Russian was following. So I am happy with silver,” Jeptoo said.
Petrova Arkhipova said she was stunned by her success.
“I didn’t expect to get third. I was frightened until the end because the African runners are very strong. I tried to stay with them, and I did. I am very proud.”
The men’s marathon is next Sunday.