Athlete Jemima Jelagat Sumgong made history yesterday at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Brazil when she became the first Kenyan woman to win a gold medal in the women’s marathon.
Jemima (31)ran in two hours, 24 minutes and four seconds to finish ahead of another Kenyan, who now runs for Bahrain, Eunice Jepkirui Kirwa (2:24:13) with Ethiopia’s Mare Dibaba finishing third in 2:24:30.
“I had prepared that I would move out at kilometre 35 and my body was responding very well, as well as my movement,” Jemima said to reporters at the finish line, adding that the weather was very hot.
“It was very hot but everybody had to get through the heat,” she said.
An intruder, who leapt on the marathon course, would, however, have interfered with Jemima’s victory, were it not for the quick response of the security team.
The intruder had jumped over barriers ahead of Jemima and other runners before two security guys on motorbikes tackled him.
“I was scared,” Sumgong said, adding that she was thinking: “If not me, he could grab one of my colleagues.”
Jemima had a similar experience with an intruder in the London marathon four months ago, where she overcome a heavy fall and a near collision with the intruder to win the race.