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East Africans Sweep Commonwealth Marathon Medals

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Victor Kiplangat Gold medalist Uganda's Victor Kiplangat celebrates with a Ugandan flag after winning the men's marathon on day two of the Commonwealth Games at Smithfield in Birmingham, central England, on July 30, 2022. PHOTO | AFP

Ugandan youngster Victor Kiplangat put up a brilliant performance to win the men’s marathon gold at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Saturday.

Kiplangat struck gold in 2:10:55 ahead of Tanzania’s Felix Simbu, while Kenya’s late entrant into the field, Michael Githae, completed a 1-2-3 sweep of the medals by the three East African neighbours.

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Kiplangat’s exploits made him the first Ugandan to win the Commonwealth Games gold in the marathon.

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It was Kenya’s first medal at the 2022 “Club” Games. Githae and compatriot Jonathan Korir had stayed with the leading pack of six until the 30km when Kiplangat and Simbu dropped them.

Liam Adama from Australia, who hit the front early to go through 5 kilometres in 15 minutes and 42 seconds as the pack of Githae, Simbu, Kiplangat and another Tanzanian Athumani Misai gave chase.

Silver medalist Tanzania's Alphonce Felix Simbu celebrates with the Tanzanian flag after finishing second in the men's marathon on day two of the Commonwealth Games at Smithfield in Birmingham, central England, on July 30, 2022. PHOTO | AFP

Silver medalist Tanzania’s Alphonce Felix Simbu celebrates with the Tanzanian flag after finishing second in the men’s marathon on day two of the Commonwealth Games at Smithfield in Birmingham, central England, on July 30, 2022. PHOTO | AFP

The pack closed down on Adams as the Australian led by a second through 10km in 31:06 and by four second at 15km in 46:03.

Adams and the pack of six hit the 20km in 1:01:08 with the Australian occasionally teasing his rivals with some bursts of speed.

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They cruised past the halfway mark in 1:04:34 and 25km in 1:17:01 with Adams sticking to the lead by a second on both occasions.

Kiplangat, the Ugandan, sprung to the front after the water station right after the 25km mark pulling Simbu and Githae along as the other three dropped.

Bronze medalist Kenya's Michael Githae celebrates with the Kenyan flag after finishing third in the men's marathon on day two of the Commonwealth Games at Smithfield in Birmingham, central England, on July 30, 2022. PHOTO | AFP

Bronze medalist Kenya’s Michael Githae celebrates with the Kenyan flag after finishing third in the men’s marathon on day two of the Commonwealth Games at Smithfield in Birmingham, central England, on July 30, 2022. PHOTO | AFP

Kiplangat, Githae and Simbu exchanged the leads for a moment before the other pack joined them right after the 27km.

Then the race started to curve when Kiplangat broke away after the 29km with Simbu in pursuit to hit the 30km mark in 1:32:45. Githae and Korir dropped 17 seconds off the pace.

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Kiplangat would show Simbu a clean pair of heels with 10km to go hitting the 35km in 1:47:09 with Simbu falling 18 seconds off the pace as Githae followed one minute and 25 seconds in bronze medal position.

Hammed Tajudeen is the Editor-In-Chief of Blaze Newz Nigeria, graduated from Osun State Polytechnic, Iree with Higher National Diploma (HND) in Mass Communication.

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