Geethani finishes 129th in women’s marathon | Daily News


Geethani finishes 129th in women’s marathon

RIO DE JANEIRO, Sunday: Sri Lanka’s Niluka Geethani Rajasekara finished 129th out of 157 competitors while Kenyan Jelagat Jemima Sumgong bagged the gold medal at the women’s marathon of the XXXIst Olympic Games worked off here this morning. Only 133 runners completed the course while 23 of them withdrew during the race due to various reasons and South Africa’s Irvette Van Zyl did not start.

It was a tall order for the Lankan lass was nowhere near her usual form in clocking three hours, 11 minutes and five seconds. Her timing today was way behind her 2:50.40 at the IAAF World Championships in China last year and career best 2:40.07 at the 2015 Hong Kong Marathon.

Though she was aiming to establish a Sri Lanka record, it was never visible right from the first 10km. Rajasekara took 19 minutes and 25 seconds to complete the first 5km as 135th.

After the first 10 km, Rajasekara descended 144th in 40 minutes and 15 seconds. She had gone down further at 146th at 15km, clocking one hour, two minutes and 42 seconds. She was placed 141st after completing 20 km with a timing of 1:25.09. At the halfway mark of the race, Rajasekara was in the 141st place in 1:30.20 where as Bulgaria’s Volha Mazuronak was in the lead in 1:12.56.

Rajasekara advanced slightly to be in the 138th place at the 25km mark in 1:48.34. She progressed slowly to 134th place by 30km mark in 2:11.39 and to 133rd place at 35km in 2:36.17 and 131st at 40km in 3:01/08.

Jelagat Jemima Sumgong of Kenya won the gold medal of the event, overcoming a field of several top long distance runners in the world.

She clocked a timing of two hours, 24 minutes and four second to win the gold medal, surviving an exciting finish to push her closest competitor Jepkirui Eunice Kirwa of Bahrain to the second place. But Sumgong was well short of the Olympic record of 2:23.07 by Tiki Gelana of Ethiopia established at the last London 2012 Games.

Kirwa settled for the silver medal position but was only nine seconds behind the winner in 2:24.13. Mare Dibaba of Ethiopia accounted for the bronze medal, finishing just 26 seconds after Sumgong – 2:24.30. But after the first 35km point, it was Debaba who was in the lead with a timing of 2:00.31.

A total of 157 female marathon runners, including Sri Lanka’s Rajasekara, came under the starter’s order.

USA’s 1000th gold

USA women’s 4x 100m medley relay victory was the nation’s 1000th gold medal in summer Olympic Games history. It perfectly teed up Olympic super star Michael Phelps’ farewell to Rio 2016 Games. Moments after the milestone gold medal in American Olympic history, the USA men’s 4x100m medley team, with Phelps doing the butterfly stroke in the third lap, won gold. It was a fitting tribute to Phelps’ illustrious career.

By helping the USA win the 4x100m medley relay at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium last night, the most decorated Olympian of all time took his final tally to 28 Olympic medals which include a record 23 gold medals.

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