Ethiopia’s Tiki Gelana Wins Olympic Women’s Marathon

Posted August 5th, 2012 at 10:44 am (UTC-4)
8 comments

A pack of Olympic marathon runners on the Mall, early in Sunday’s race.

London’s iconic landmarks and quickly changing weather were both on display in Sunday’s Olympic women’s marathon, which was won by Ethiopia’s Tiki Gelana in an Olympic record 2:23:07. The field of 118 runners started the race in a light rain. After about an hour of competition, the sun appeared and steam rose off the streets, lined four and five deep with cheering spectators. By the time the 24-year-old Ethiopian hit the tape, more rain was falling, but that didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the fans or Tiki Gelana, who grabbed an Ethiopian flag and did a ceremonial victory lap.

Kenyan and Ethiopian runners, including newly crowned Olympic champion Tiki Gelana.

Kenya’s Priscah Jeptoo won the silver medal (in 2:23:12), while Russia’s Tatyana Petrova Arkhipova won the bronze (in a personal best 2:23:29). Usually, the men’s and women’s Olympic marathons finish inside the main Olympic Stadium. But organizers broke with tradition and mapped a four loop course that took the runners past many of London’s notable tourist attractions. The race started and finished on the Mall, not far from Buckingham Palace.

Your trusty Olympic blogger was impressed with the huge crowds that turned out under less than ideal conditions. One of the athletes they cheered for was Romania’s Constantina Dita, the defending Olympic champion, who struggled Sunday and finished 86th overall, in 2:41:34, almost 15 minutes slower than her gold medal-winning time in Beijing four years ago.

Shalane Flanagan of the USA, who finished 10th overall in 2:25:51.

The men’s Olympic marathon will be held on the same course August 12th, the final day of Olympic competition.

The Kenyan Olympic team held a moment of silence before coming to London for the late Sammy Wanjiru, the 2008 Olympic marathon champion who died last year at age 24 after falling off a balcony at his home.

While Kenya has produced many of the world’s greatest marathoners, Sunday’s victory by Tiki Gelana means a Kenyan woman still has not won an Olympic marathon title.

Sonny Young
Since 1999, host Sonny Young has delighted listeners and viewers with a lively presentation that combines humor, props, sound effects and correspondent reports from Africa and all over the globe.

8 responses to “Ethiopia’s Tiki Gelana Wins Olympic Women’s Marathon”

  1. Zeleke Deressa says:

    I trust in our athletes. They are our flags. Thanks to the Bokojians Tirunesh Dibaba and Tiki Galana. I proud of them.

  2. Tesfa says:

    Yeah, I’m proud of Tiki Gelana.

  3. elias says:

    Tike Ethiopian icon.we are proud of u!keep it up!

  4. elias says:

    TikI Gelana Ethiopian icon.we are proud of u!keep it up!

  5. John Teshome says:

    good work ,keep it up

  6. abdissa bekele says:

    Excellent work, keep it up. Herro of ours

  7. Elisa says:

    Great job–way to go!

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Sonny Side of Sports is an energetic and action-packed look at both world and African sports, broadcast on radio, TV and the Internet. Since the show’s creation in 1999, host Sonny Young has delighted listeners and viewers with a lively presentation that combines humor, props, sound effects and correspondent reports from Africa and all over the globe.

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