Athletics at the 2016 Summer Olympics – Men's marathon
at the Games of the XXXI Olympiad
Beginning of the competition in the rain
|Date||21 August 2016|
|Competitors||155 from 80 nations|
The race began at the Sambódromo in a light rain, with temperatures about 24 °C (75 °F). The field size of 155 starters was an Olympic Games record as well as the 140 finishers. The previous record was 124 starters and 111 finishers at the 1996 Olympic marathon in Atlanta. The 2016 race also had the most countries represented of any Olympic marathon and despite the weather conditions a record 62 men finished under 2:20:00 to show the quality and depth of the field.
The lead pack jogged comfortably through almost the first 15 kilometers, when Eliud Kipchoge injected a little speed into the race. By that point the pack was 62 men, that went from a line across the street shoulder to shoulder to a string chasing the leader. 46 still were hanging onto the lead group at the halfway point. Nine more dropped off by 25K. Over the next 5K, the pace gradually increased, losing the defending champion Stephen Kiprotich and reigning world champion Ghirmay Ghebreslassie, though Ghebreslassie was hanging on off the back. At 30K there were only 8 still running together at the front. Lemi Berhanu seemed to be leading the increase of speed, calling back for his teammate Feyisa Lilesa to keep up. Within 2 km, the lead pack was down to four, the two Ethiopians, Kipchoge and Galen Rupp. In the next kilometer, Berhanu fell off the back. By 33K, the medalists were decided. At 35K, Rupp was just behind Lilesa and Kipchoge. Rupp lost contact at the following water station. Shortly after losing Rupp, Lilesa was immediately behind Kipchoge and apparently clipped his heels. Kipchoge was angry, motioning to Lilesa to run next to him, to use the rest of the street. Lilesa didn't respond, Kipchoge accelerated away. From that point, as the course snaked around buildings, the three leaders lost sight of each other as the gaps between them increased. Slightly less than a minute behind the leaders, Ghebreslassie was speeding past the other stragglers. At 40K, Kipchoge had 36 seconds over Lilesa, Rupp another 12 seconds back and Ghebreslassie 59 seconds behind Rupp. Over the lengthy straight finish, Kipchoge expanded his lead to 1:10, giving the thumbs up to the crowd as he finished at 2:08:44. Lilesa struggled but still held 11 seconds ahead of Rupp. Lilesa crossed his arms several time before crossing the finish line at 2:09:54 in solidarity of the protests of his ethnic Oromo people. Rupp finished at 2:10:05 still 59 seconds up on Ghebreslassie.
Eliud Kipchoge had previously won medals on the track in 2004 and 2008; this race marked the continuation of his successful transition to the marathon distance. The difference between this and his last half marathon was 1:02:49. Kipchoge was the only Kenyan finisher in the marathon.
The sky remained overcast throughout the race. The streets remained wet. As Athens 2004 silver medalist Meb Keflezighi, aged 41, was about to cross the finish line in thirty-third place, he slipped. Head and shoulders crossing the finish line, he did a couple of push ups on the ground before righting himself and walking over the line. Later Mohammad Jafar Moradi's hamstring seized up before he reached the finish line. He ended up crawling across the line unassisted. Federico Bruno also cramped up before the entrance of the Sambadrome. He had to finish the entire distance hopping sideways. Derlis Ayala stopped several times to assist Bruno.
The gifts were presented by Abby Hoffman, Council Member of the IAAF immediately after the race. At the closing ceremony, the athletes were presented with the medals by Thomas Bach, IOC President and Sebastian Coe, President of the IAAF.
Note that Abdelmajid El Hissouf (originally 68th) was found guilty of a doping offence by the IAAF in 2017, and his sanction resulted in the annulment of this result; all those finishing behind him should be moved up one place.
Feyisa Lilesa of Ethiopia was the silver medalist and as he neared the line he crossed his arms above his head – a political gesture in solidarity with Oromo protests in Ethiopia. After the race he stated: "the Ethiopian government is killing my people so I stand with all protests anywhere as Oromo is my tribe. My relatives are in prison and if they talk about democratic rights they are killed."
Time is in accordance with UTC−03:00
|21 August 2016||09:30||Final|
- "Athletics at the 2016 Summer Olympics – Men's marathon". Rio 2016. Archived from the original on 8 September 2016. Retrieved 21 August 2016.
- "Rio Olympics 2016: Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge wins men's marathon". BBC Sport. 21 August 2016. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
- "Eliud Kipchoge powers to marathon gold as Callum Hawkins finishes ninth". Guardian. 21 August 2016. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
- Ethiopian runner makes protest sign as he crosses line in Rio. BBC News (2016-08-21). Retrieved on 2016-08-21.
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