T. Gopi and Kheta Ram clocked their personal bests as they placed 25th and 26th respectively in the Olympic marathon on Sunday, as Eluid Kipchoge of Kenya won the gold with a time of 2 hours 8 minutes and 44 seconds.
Gopi finished in 2:15:25 seconds while Kheta Ram was one second behind. Nitendra Singh was 84th with a 2:22:52.
Interestingly, it was in the 5,000m that Kipchoge had won his previous Olympic medals — bronze at the Athens Games and silver at Beijing.
Feyisa Lilesa of Ethiopia (2:09:54) and Galem Rupp of the US (2:10:05) won the silver and bronze respectively.
“It was a bit slow. So I decided to take over. Maybe it was the rain. I [came] here for gold,” said the Kenyan.
Kipchoge became only the second Kenyan, after Samuel Wanjiru in 2008, to win the marathon gold.
With Kipchoge’s triumph, Kenya became the first nation to win both the men’s and the women’s marathon golds; Jemima Jelagat Sumgong had won the women’s last week.
“It is amazing for us. Kenyans will be very happy. This is history. It is the best moment of my life,” said Kipchoge.
He has now won seven of his eight career marathons. He won the London marathon with the second all-time fastest time of 2:03.05.
Rupp had competed in the 10,000 metres earlier.
“I was emotionally drained after the 10K. I got it out of my system and decided to have an attacking race. Maybe, this is my best event,” said the American.