Mark Kenneally struggled over the final eight miles of today’s Olympic Marathon in London and finished 57th in 2:21.13. Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda was a surprise winner of the event in 2:08.01- only the second time a Ugandan athlete had won an Olympic medal. The first time was when John Aki-Bua won gold in the men’s 400 metres hurdles in 1972.
Kiprotich sprung a surprise on the two Kenyan runners, Abel Kiru and Wilson Kiprotich when he stormed into the lead at 23 miles and went on to win Olympic gold by a 26 second margin. Kiru won the silver medal and Kiprotich took bronze.
Mark Kenneally looked under pressure as he arrived at the finish line and the Clonliffe Harriers runner expressed deep disappointment with his time which was well short of his personal best .”I felt good for the first 16 or 17 miles and then I just blew up, for whatever reason, “ Kenneally said. “The last seven or eight miles were a struggle to get home. I’ll sit down and review what went wrong and try to put it right for the next time. It’s disappointing because you want to get your best one out in the Olympics With two kilometres to go, I was really dizzy and thought that I was going to have to stop. At that point it was just damage limitation and trying to get to the finish. I was trying to run inside my personal best (2:13.55) and I’m in much better shape when I was when I ran that time. It’s not obvious to me right now what went wrong today. I got all my drinks and I did not go out too fast. I’ll think about it and try to move forward from the disappointment. It’s great to have the Olympic experience and everything but I want to perform on this stage. Hopefully, in four years time I can still be around and make this right.”
This was Kenneally’s third marathon in fifteen months and he does not expect to race again over the distance until at least next Spring.