Sunday, August 12, 2012

Olympic veteran Meb Keflezighi storms to fourth place marathon finish...

LONDON--In the final day of the Olympics, Meb Keflezighi (on the far right/photo courtesy, the 2004 Olympic silver medalist finished a surprising fourth in the marathon, completing the 26 mile, 385 yard course comprising of three loops of eight miles and a opening 2.2 mile loop in 2:11:06.

Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda, who trains most of the year in Kenya, brought home his country’s first medal of the London Games and only their third athletics medal of all time as he won gold in 2:08:01. He was followed by Abel Kirui in 2:08:27 and Wilson Kipsang in 2:09:37, both of Kenya.

In only his fourth Marathon since he entered Enschede, Netherlands, as a pacemaker in May last year, and carried on to win in 2:07:20, Kiprotich has upstaged his more famous training colleagues, and become Uganda’s second Olympic athletics champion, after the celebrated John Aki-Bua 40 years ago.

Shortly after finishing the first of the three big loops, fellow Americans Ryan Hall and Abdi Abdirahman called it a day, dropping out due to a right hamstring issue (Hall) and a right eke (Abdirahman).

In winning the Olympic title in hot and humid conditions, Kiprotich, who was dropped by reigning world champion Kirui, who won the London Marathon this year, and Kipsang at the 35k mark, Kiprotich gathered himself and literally shot past his rivals two kilometers later.

In the race within the race, Keflezighi was able to run with a pack of eight men who were just two minutes behind the lead at the 30km mark. Over the next 5km, Keflezighi increased his pace, pulled away from the chase pack and set his sights on picking off the lone athletes separating him from the podium. During the final two miles of the race, Keflezighi passed both Marilson Dos Santos of Brazil and Kentaro Nakamoto of Japan to secure his fourth place finish.

Afterwards, the three-time Olympian told the media, “Coming here I told my wife, ‘I have a feeling I’m going to finish fourth.’ Did I want to finish fourth – no. But at the World or Olympic games I’ll take it, especially considering that I did not make the Olympics [in 2008]. I know how that feels, so I congratulate those people who finished first, second and third. Everybody works hard to accomplish such a thing and I am very proud of myself and our country to finish fourth. It’s not where you want to be sometimes, but fourth place at my last Olympics – I’ll take it anytime.”

Complete results of the marathon are available here.


In Saturday's Falmouth Mile in Falmouth, Massachusetts, Auburn/Riverside HS alum Jordan McNamara came close, but could not defend his title.

McNamara finished second to Cal/Berkeley alum David Torrence, 3:55.79 to 3:56.07.

After zipping through the two opening laps in 58 seconds apiece, the pace slowed through the three-quarter mark before defending champion and event record holder McNamara, who currently resides in Eugene, took over at the bell. "The wind was really tough on the backstretch," he said. "I was just waiting for the 200 mark to make my move, when the wind would be behind us."

As the leaders hit the homestretch, Torrence, an Oakland, Calif. resident, unleashed a finishing sprint McNamara and the others couldn't match, finishing 0.28 ahead of McNamara, with Garrett Heath another 0.14 behind in third.

Results are available at

NOTE: USA Track & Field, the IAAF, and the Falmouth Road Race contributed to this report.

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