The hopes of a medal at the Rio Olympics by many Ugandans were dashed after Stephen Kiprotich failed to retain his marathon title.
Kiprotich, champion at the London Games four years ago, vanished in the wet conditions as Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge won the men’s 42km race in Sambrodromo on Sunday.
Kipchoge, the second fastest man in the marathon ever, came home in 2:08:44. It now means that the Kenyan has won seven of the eight career marathons he has done.
Kiprotich finished a distant 14th, some four minutes and 48 seconds after Kipchoge.
The expectations of the nation slowly faded away after about 29km. Kipchoge and a pack of nine other runners including Kiprotich’s compatriot Solomon Mutai uped the pace.
The field eventually broke into clusters, leaving Kipchoge, Ethiopian Feyisa Lelisa and American Rupp Galen in the lead.
The trio confirmed their medal positions in the order but Galen, running only his second marathon, had to wade off a challenge from reigning World champion Eritrean Ghirmay Ghebreslassie.
Mutai came in eighth place while the other Ugandan Jackson Kiprop dropped out of the race, the final athletics event of the Olympic Games.