World Championships Beijing Day 9: Kirwa captures marathon bronze medal

Eunice Kirwa's 3rd place performance in the marathon on 30-August, made her the third Personae-managed athlete to reach the podium at the 2015 IAAF World Championships.

The final day of competition in Beijing delivered the closest women’s marathon finish in the history of the IAAF world championships – and Eunice Kirwa was right in the middle of the action.

The women’s marathon field, which included two-time defending marathon champion Edna Kiplagat and ’15 world chart leader Mare Dibaba (2:19:52, Xiamen), started out conservatively, resulting in a large lead group of 19 (including Kirwa) reaching the half way mark in 1:15:17.  As the pace subsequently picked up, the front group was reduced down to 12 by 30 km, then to five contenders by the 36 km mark – Dibaba, Kiplagat, Kirwa, Helah Kiprop, and Jemima Sumgong.  As this group covered the 35 km-to-40 km segment in 16:35, Kiplagat surprisingly had to drop off, with the remaining four staying tightly bunched all the way to the tunnel of Bird’s Nest Olympic Stadium.  In unprecedented fashion, the race for all three medals literally came down to a 100m sprint, with Dibaba winning the title in 2:27:35, ahead of Kiprop (2:27:36), Kirwa (2:27:39), and Sumgong (2:27:42).

Kirwa’s medal performance in Beijing was her first in global championship competition.  Earlier in the year at Marathon Nagoya, she established a new Bahrain national record of 2:22:08.

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