Peres Jepchirchir won gold for a Kenyan one-two in a gruelling women’s marathon.
Followed home by world record holder Brigid Kosgei, the pair overcame the stifling Tokyo morning heat with excellent performances.
Crossing the line in 2:27:20, Jepchirchir broke away from her compatriot in the closing stages.
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A superb day for Kenya was marred slightly by the drop out of reigning world champion Ruth Chepngetich, who had led early on but pulled up after falling away from the leading pack.
Molly Seidel of the United States came in for bronze just under thirty seconds after Jepchirchir, becoming only the third woman in US history to win an Olympic marathon medal.
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Having been within striking distance of the Kenyan pair well into the final phases, the American can reflect upon a fantastic run.
Stephanie Davis finished in 39th with a time of 2:36:33, the highest performing British runner in the marathon.
Setting off in temperatures already close to thirty degrees, several runners had dropped out by the halfway stage.
Jepchirchir led shortly after, clearing the 30 kilometre mark in 1:46:04 as a leading pack of four began to break away; the three eventual medallists and Israel’s Lonah Chemtai Salpeter.
With four kilometres to go, the Israeli abruptly pulled up and dropped to a slow walk.
It was a testament to Salpeter’s character that she still finished the race in 66th position, and a reflection of the roasting heat that this last four kilometres took her almost thirty minutes.
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That left the leading three out on their own, the Kenyan’s running side by side by with Seidel in pursuit around 20 metres behind.
With Kosgei showing signs of discomfort, Jepchirchir made her move, kicking on and pulling away from her compatriot to take the gold.
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