Road To The Olympic Games

Track-field

Canada's Lanni Marchant completes rare Olympic feat

Kenyan runner Jemima Jelagat Sumgong was first to cross the finish line Sunday but it was a Canadian who also made history in the exhausting women's Olympic marathon at the 2016 Summer Games.

Kenya's Jemima Jelagat Sumgong triumphs in women's marathon

Lanni Marchant of Canada finished in 24th place Sunday in the women's Olympic marathon in Rio de Janeiro. (Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

By Jonathan Rumley, CBC Sports

Kenya's Jemima Jelagat Sumgong was the first woman to cross the finish line Sunday but it was a Canadian who also made history in the exhausting women's Olympic marathon at the 2016 Summer Games.

Lanni Marchant became the first Canadian to attempt and complete a 10,000-metre race and a marathon at the Olympics. She ran the women's 10,000-metre race just two days earlier and came in 25th on Friday.

The 32-year-old finished in two hours, 33 minutes and eight seconds – which was nine minutes and four seconds after the winner, and good enough to place 24th in the field with a final time of two hours, 33 minutes and eight seconds.

Sumgong, 31, was the first Kenyan woman to win an Olympic marathon, recording a time of 2:24:04 to become an Olympic champion. Her time was just off the mark of the Olympic record of 2:23:07 established at London 2012. The gold was the first for Kenya at the 2016 Summer Games.

This year's draining 42.195-km race was held at the Sambodromo in Rio de Janeiro and 157 competitors were slated to take part.

Kenyan-born Eunice Jepkirui Kirwa, 32, finished nine seconds behind the winner to claim silver for Bahrain while 26-year-old Mare Dibaba of Ethiopia took bronze after completing the course 26 seconds after Sumgong.

The other Canadian in the race, 39-year-old Krista DuChene of Strathroy, Ont., completed the course in 2:35:29 to secure the 35th spot at the event. 

Three Americans finished in the top nine and a distance runner from South Africa did not start the race. 

Sumgong's gold may have been saved by the swift intervention of security forces with a kilometre to go as she approached the Sambodromo parade area marking the end of the race.

When a man leapt over railings on the right of the road waving a sign, two police motorcycles immediately cut him off.

The protester then jumped over fencing on the left of the road and Sumgong continued unhindered. It was not immediately known if he was arrested. A man also tried to confront Sumgong during the London Marathon in April.

As then, the outcome was the same: Victory for the 31-year-old Sumgong.

With files from The Associated Press

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