On Sunday, August 5, 2012, Tiki Gelana of Ethiopia climbed to her feet after falling from a collision with another runner and set an Olympic record to win the women’s marathon in 2 hours 23 minutes 7 seconds.
Gelana collided with another runner just beyond the halfway point. She fell to the ground and scraped her right elbow. She got up and was bumped again.
On a cool, rainy day, Gelana surged to victory over the final one and a half miles, running the second half of the 26.2-mile race more than three minutes faster than the first. She covered the first half in 1:13:13 and the final half in 1:09:54.
Priscah Jeptoo of Kenya took second in 2:23:12 on a twisty, loop course that passed many familiar London landmarks and sometimes puddled with rain. Tatyana Petrova Arkhipova of Russia made a charge over the final miles and finished third in a personal best of 2:23:29.
Sunday was even more frustrating for the Americans. Shalane Flanagan and Kara Goucher went to the lead early but faded. Both runners sustained cramps in their legs and back. Flanagan finished 10th in 2:25:51, and Goucher was 11th in 2:26:07. Desiree Davila, who had been battling a hip injury, dropped out after 2.2 miles.
Ethiopia has now won the Olympic women’s marathon twice. Fatuma Roba took first at the 1996 Atlanta Games.
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