Road To The Olympic Games

Track-field

Eliud Kipchoge wins marathon, Canada's Eric Gillis 10th

Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge completed his collection of Olympic marathon medals by winning gold, while Eric Gillis delivered a rare top-10 result for Canada on the closing day in Rio.

Kenyan adds gold to 2008 silver, 2004 bronze

Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge breaks the tape to win the Olympic men's marathon in Rio. (Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge completed his collection of Olympic marathon medals by winning gold, while Eric Gillis delivered a rare top-10 result for Canada on the closing day in Rio.

Kipchoge, the silver medallist in the men's marathon in 2008 and the bronze medallist in 2004, completed the course Sunday in 2 hours, 8 minutes and 44 seconds, sprinting to the finish line with a smile on his face.

Kipchoge, who missed the 2012 Games, was a favourite coming in as the dominant marathoner of the past couple years, and he took the lead for good after the 30-kilometre mark.

"I've won my Olympic gold medal," Kipchoge said. "It was the Olympic gold medal that's not [around] my neck."

Feyisa Lelisa of Ethiopia finished second for the silver, while American Galen Rupp took bronze in his second marathon and first ever in the Olympics.

Gillis finished 10th, crossing the line three minutes, 45 seconds behind Kipchoge.

"I couldn't believe how good I felt," Gillis said.

The Antigonish, N.S., native's result is the best by a Canadian in an Olympic marathon since Sylvie Ruegger finished eighth in the women's race in 1984 in Los Angeles. No Canadian man had cracked the top 10 since Jerome Drayton, the national record holder, placed sixth in 1976 in Montreal.

Gillis, 36, finished 22nd at the 2012 Games in London.

Canada's Reid Coolsaet finished 23rd Sunday — 6:14 behind the winner.

A field of 155 runners started the marathon — the biggest field in Olympic history.

Lilesa makes statement

Silver medallist Lilesa used his run down the home straight to support protests back in his native Ethiopia. He crossed his wrists at the finish line, during the gift ceremony and again during the news conference in the symbol for the anti-government protests in Ethiopia

The nation has been marred by violence in recent weeks as government security forces have killed dozens of people amid protests over the nation's decision to take over lands in the Oromia region. Protesters are calling for more freedom and an end of government brutality.

Having relatives in prison meant Lilesa could not stay quiet on the Olympic stage, no matter the consequences.

"If I go back to Ethiopia, maybe they will kill me," Lilesa said. "If not kill me, they will put me in prison. I have not decided yet, but maybe I will move to another country."

With files from The Associated Press

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