Africa won its first Gold medal at the ongoing Commonwealth Games in Birmingham as Uganda’s Victor Kiplangat took the honours Men’s Marathon on the streets of Birmingham.
Kiplangat finished in a time of two hours 10 minutes and 55 seconds despite appearing to go the wrong way at one point.
He still won by one minute 34 seconds ahead of Alphonce Simbu of Tanzania, with Kenya’s Michael Mugo Githae completing the podium places.
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“The people riding the motorcycles were confusing me. They told me to turn back but I still made it to the finish,” said Kiplangat.
“I feel so happy to have won. Thanks to all the fans for cheering me on. I was feeling fatigue in my legs but the crowd were cheering me on and they gave me courage.”
At the Commonwealth Games, he became the first person from Uganda to win the gold medal in the marathon “I think Uganda is pleased with me right now.
“This is what we’ve been waiting for.”
Following in the footsteps of fellow countryman Joshua Cheptegei, who won two gold medals at the 2018 Gold Coast Games in the 5000 and 10,000 meters, he continued, “If God is nice to me, I feel I shall be a great man like Cheptegei and (Kenya’s double Olympic champion Eliud) Kipchoge.
“We shall keep breaking records.
“As long as we are healthy, everything is possible. I’m still young and still growing. I believe I can be even better.”
Jessica Stenson of Australia won the women’s competition in two hours, 27 minutes, and 31 seconds after previously taking home two bronze medals.
With Margaret Wangari Muriuki of Kenya and Helalia Johannes of Namibia, she formed a lead group that broke away.
However, the Australian was too strong for her competitors and passed them in the final kilometers to finish 29 seconds ahead.