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London Olympics Athletics Day Ten - Men's Marathon

by Brett Larner

2012 Tokyo Marathon 3rd-placer Stephen Kiprotich (Uganda) staged a surprise upset in the London Olympics men's marathon, dropping two-time world champion Abel Kirui (Kenya) and 2011 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon winner Wilson Kipsang (Kenya) with 5 km to go to give Uganda its first-ever marathon gold and prevent a Kenyan repeat of the late great Samuel Wanjiru's victory in Beijing four years ago.  Despite the unexpected loss, Kirui and Kipsang became the first-ever Kenyan runners without Japanese coaching to win Olympic marathon medals.

Japanese favorite Arata Fujiwara ran tough in the first two-thirds of the race, teaming up with 2012 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon runner-up Henryk Szost (Poland) to reel in stragglers from the lead pack, but making contact with the chase pack he settled into a slower than hoped for pace that allowed his former Takushoku University roommate Kentaro Nakamoto to catch up.  Where Fujiwara locked on to the rhythm of the pack, Nakamoto pushed on ahead after catching them, followed by Athens Olympics silver medalist Meb Keflezighi (U.S.A.) and the PB-running Cuthbert Nyasango (Zimbabwe).  As Fujiwara characteristically faded in the heat, Nakamoto and Keflezighi kept moving forward, advancing place by place to 5th.

With Nakamoto having been run down on the last lap of the track at Lake Biwa in March and the American's history of strong finishes there was little doubt of the outcome of their head-to-head duel, given extra fuel as two-time NYC Marathon winner Marilson Dos Santos (Brazil) came into sight.  Keflezighi kicked away from Nakamoto in the home straight to run down Dos Santos for 4th, Nakamoto coming up just short of tying Shigeru Aburuya's 5th-place finish in Athens as he took 6th behind Dos Santos in 2:11:16, the 3rd-fastest time ever by a Japanese man at the Olympics and continuing his nine marathon-strong streak of always finishing in the top ten regardless of the conditions or circumstances.

As with his past warm weather races, Fujiwara wilted abruptly late in the race, dropping from as high as 8th to 45th and just breaking 2:20.  Overtaking him late in the race, third Japanese man Ryo Yamamoto took 40th in 2:18:34.

2012 London Olympics Men's Marathon
London, England, 8/12/12
click here for complete results

1. Stephen Kiprotich (Uganda) - 2:08:01
2. Abel Kirui (Kenya) - 2:08:27
3. Wilson Kipsang (Kenya) - 2:09:37
4. Meb Keflezighi (U.S.A.) - 2:11:06
5. Marilson Dos Santos (Brazil) - 2:11:10
6. Kentaro Nakamoto (Japan) - 2:11:16
7. Cuthbert Nyasango (Zimbabwe) - 2:12:08 - PB
8. Paulo Roberto Paula (Brazil) - 2:12:17
9. Henryk Szost (Poland) - 2:12:28
10. Ruggero Pertile (Italy) - 2:12:45
-----
40. Ryo Yamamoto (Japan) - 2:18:34
45. Arata Fujiwara (Japan) - 2:19:11

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Anonymous said…
The greatest thing about Nakamoto's run was that he had balls. He went for it with courage and gusto. These are qualities that Brett Larner doesn't have and probably will never have. I am sure that if I had a beef with Nakamoto, he'd actually show up to settle the score. He's definitely not a chicken-shit scared little eunuch.
Dan said…
For a little while, I thought Nakamoto was looking strong enough to catch Dos Santos but when Meb made his push and Nakamoto couldn't respond, it was clear that he was going to be sixth. Nevertheless, he ran a great race, not giving up and reeling in runners in front of him. Nakamoto (and Meb) are the kind of runners who may not have the fastest times but they are tough when the conditions are.
TokyoRacer said…
Yes, Nakamoto ran a terrific race. He did all the work in pulling that chase pack.
Brett Larner said…
Dear "anonymous" stalker in the first comment,

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-DrWrJJRVibw/UCn17L1dfKI/AAAAAAAADJ4/39plG_vhpHg/s1600/mayeroff%2Bthreat%2B5.JPG

Threatening someone under your own name with your photo attached is generally not a good idea if you wish to avoid criminal prosecution. Deleting it from your Twitter feed is not going to undo it.
Jason Mayeroff said…
Like I said, only a chicken-shit little cowering eunuch like you would interpret what I said as a threat of physical violence. The account will be settled in my own very special way.

It also shows just how much of a coward you are when you have to filter your comments and restrict your twitter. If anybody dares to disagree with you, then are labelled as "degenerate."

I can't see how your ugly wife could be satisfied by such a castrated, worthless toad like you.

Like I said, I'll be in Tokyo from 27-August to 30-August so you can go post my photo at the Koban at Yoyogi park and tell all guys at at the Immigration Bureau.
Brett Larner said…
To Jason Mayeroff:

Refrain from contacting me in any form, whether online or in person, at any point in the future. You will receive no response from me to any further communications.

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