Kenya Wins Gold in Men's Marathon; US Takes Bronze

A field of 155 runners started the marathon — the biggest field in Olympic history

Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya finally has won the gold medal in the Olympic marathon, finishing with a time of 2 hours, 8 minutes and 44 seconds as he sprinted to the finish line with a smile on his face. 

Feyisa Lilesa of Ethiopia finished second for the silver, while American Galen Rupp took bronze in his second marathon and first ever in the Olympics

Rupp, is the first American-born runner to medal in the Olympics in 40 years. 

"I knew if I could stick with [Kipchoge], he's not going to be one of those guys that he will have a bad race, Rupp explained his strategy. "If I was close to him, I knew I was going to medal."

Meb Keflezighi, an Eritrean-born American who lives in San Diego, won a silver medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics. He finished in 33rd place on Sunday. 

Keflezighi said he stopped seven times during the race and had to vomit, but his goal was to reach the finish line. 

"It was a difficult race but when you wear that red, white and blue, you want to get to that finish line, as soon as you can, preferably."

USA's Jared Ward came in 6th. 

"It was a hard race...and when it got tough at the end, I was thinking of my wife at home, my kids at home. Just very happy to be here and represent America with incredible runners like Meb and Galen."

Ghirmay Ghebreslassie, the world champion who was trying to earn the second Olympic marathon medal in Eritrea's history, finished fourth. 

A field of 155 runners started the marathon — the biggest field in Olympic history. This is the last event in the Olympic track and field program in Rio, and the Kenyans were expecting to wrap it up with gold. Kipchoge has been the dominant marathoner the last two years.

With the rain, only a small crowd of fans and supporters in ponchos and holding umbrellas were on hand to see the runners off on the course winding through the soggy streets of Rio de Janeiro. Larger crowds built up as the course took runners along the famous beaches of Rio.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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