Rio Olympic Games – Track & Field Days 2 & 3: Kirwa earns silver medal in marathon

With her 2nd-place performance in the marathon on 14-August, Eunice Kirwa became the first Personae-managed athlete to reach the podium at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The third day of competition in Rio delivered a closely-contested women’s marathon finish much like the one seen at the ’15 IAAF world championships in Beijing – and once again – Eunice Jepkirui Kirwa was at the center of all the action.

The women’s marathon field in Rio included the top-4 finishers from the ’15 Beijing world championships – Mare Dibaba (ETH), Helen Kiprop (KEN), Kirwa (BRN), and Jemima Sumgong (KEN).  This foursome was among the leading runners in Rio from the start, a group which counted 16 runners at 15 km, 13 runners at 20 km (reached in 1:09:07), and 9 runners by the 25 km mark.  By 30 km, Kiprop was no longer able to stay with the front group, now reduced to 7 runners.  While this group remained intact through 35 km, Sumgong soon thereafter began to press the pace and by the 40 km mark (reached in 2:17:02, i.e., 1:07:53 for second 20 km segment), the lead group was down to the three medal contenders – Sumgong, Kirwa, and Dibaba.  As this trio approached the finish at Sambodromo stadium, Sumgong’s sustained push first dropped Dibaba, and finally Kirwa within the last kilometer, allowing Sumgong to cross the finish line as Kenya’s first-ever women’s Olympic marathon champion in 2:24:04, just ahead of silver medalist Kirwa (2:24:13) and bronze medal winner Mare Dibaba (2:24:30).  With Kirwa’s marathon bronze medal performance in the ’15 IAAF world championships in Beijing, she has now made the podium in two straight global championships.

Other Personae-managed athletes in action on days 2 and 3 in Rio included Philip Milanov, who placed 9th in the Discus final (62.22m); Abraham Cheroben and Bashir Abdi, who finished 10th (27:31.86 Personal Best) and 20th (28:01.49), respectively, in the 10000m final; Ruth Jebet and Gesa Krause, who advanced to the 3000m steeplechase final by winning (9:12.62) and finishing 3rd (9:19.70), respectively, in their heat; and finally, Alfred Kipketer and Ferguson Rotich, who advanced to the 800m final by winning (1:44.38) and placing 4th (1:44.65), respectively, in their semi-finals.  Both the women’s 3000m steeplechase final and men’s 800m final will be held on 14-August.


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