SAMUEL Kamau Wansiru has won the men’s marathon, the final event of the Beijing Games track and field program, with an amazing display of distance running.
The Kenyan, aged just 21 years, won the toughest race on the Olympic program in a time of 2hr 06min 32sec, breaking the Olympic record set by Carlos Lopes of Portugal at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles by 2min 49sec.
Wansiru, who was running just his third marathon after contesting his first nine months ago, gave Kenya, the spiritual home of distance running, its first Olympic victory in the event.
Jaouad Gharib of Morocco finished second, also finishing inside the previous Olympic record, in a time of 2min 07min 16sec, while Tsegay Kebede of Ethiopia won the bronze in 2min 10min 00sec.
Kebede’s teammate Deriba Merga finished fourth ahead of Kenya’s Martin Lel, with Viktor Rothlin of Switzerland the first non-African runner home in fifth.