LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda celebrates as he approaches the line to win gold in the Men's Marathon on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at The Mall on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Image

Uganda's Stephen Kiprotich Wins Marathon Gold

Stephen Kiprotich won Uganda's first ever marathon medal with a gold Sunday morning at the Olympics, winning in a time of 2:08:01. Team USA's Meb Keflezighi came in fourth place, and was the only American finisher.

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Olympic Marathon: Uganda's Stephen Kiprotich Wins Gold

Stephen Kiprotich has won Uganda's first-ever medal in the Olympic marathon, taking the gold Sunday morning in London. Kiprotich, 23, crossed the line in 2:08:01, the third-fastest marathon time in the history of the Olympic Games.

Kiprotich used a viscous 24th mile -- run in 4:42, the fastest mile of the race -- to pull away from a pair of Kenyans, Abel Kirui and Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich and claim a surprising victory. Kirui finished 26 seconds behind Kiprotich for the silver medal while Kipsang, the leader for much of the race, settled for bronze (+1:36) after losing touch over the final 5k.

American Meb Keflezighi finished in fourth place with a time of 2:11:06, using a big push over the final 5k. The 37-year-old's time was actually 23 seconds faster than what he turned in at the 2004 Summer Olympics, when he won the silver medal.

Keflezighi was the highest-placed American finisher ... because he was the only American finisher. The other two members of Team USA, Ryan Hall and Abdihakem Abdirahman, both dropped out with injury around mile 11.

Brazil's Franck de Almeida surged ahead at the 10k mark, running the first 6.2 miles in 30:38 (that's a 4:56/mile pace). He was being chased by a pair of Kenyans, Emmanuel Mutai and Abel Kirui. Keflezighi was in 16th place, eight seconds back, while the third American, Ryan Hall, was already struggling in 38th place, and seven seconds off the back of the pack.

Things changed quickly in the seventh mile, for it was then Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich made an early move, separating himself from the field with a 5K stretch run in a blistering 14:11. At the 15k split, he had an 11-second lead on Kirui. The 44:58 split for the first 15k was the second-fastet ever in an Olympic marathon (only 2008 was faster). And that quickened pace was clearly hurting the Americans -- Meb was 39 seconds back, Abdi 1:10 back and Hall, in 50th place, 1:59 off the lead.

Then disaster struck for the Americans at the 11-mile mark as both Hall and Abdirahman stepped off the course within seconds of each other, withdrawing from the race. This left Meb, who at 37 was the oldest member of Team USA, as the only American on the course. Shortly after he withdrew, Hall said he was "kind of in shock" at the first DNF of his life.

Meanwhile, on the course, Kipsang continued to push and was leading the race at the 20km mark and had turned in a 1:03:15 time at the halfway point. But his advantage was beginning to dwindle (perhaps he went too quick too soon?). At the 25km checkpoint, fellow countryman Abel Kirui was just seven seconds back. And that gap quickly disappeared as both Kirui and Kiprotich caught Kipsang and crossed the 30km time check together (1:30:15), 36 seconds ahead of the chase group. Meb was in 10th place, 2:02 back.

Around the 23-mile point, Kiprotich made his move and neither of the Kenyans could keep pace -- by the 40k checkpoint, he was on his way to gold with a 19-second advantage.

For more on the Olympics, check out SB Nation's London 2012 Olympics Hub.


Ryan Hall: 'I'm Kind Of In Shock'

Team USA's Ryan Hall dropped out of the 2012 Olympic Marathon around mile 11 Sunday morning, an obviously disappointing result for the owner of the fastest time ever run by an American. And considering he's never really had a bad marathon, seeing him step off the course was especially shocking.

But maybe no one was more shocked than Hall himself, as he told NBC:

Just had some hamstring tightness going into the race and it was something that was getting progressively worse as I was going, and I start to feel my stride start to alter. From the beginning, it didn't feel fluid ... I was trying to work through it the best I could, but it got to a point to where it wasn't going to let me continue. It was the first I've ever DNF'd in my life, so, ya know, it's a real bummer. I'm kinda in shock right now. It hasn't really hit me, what just happened. One of those things where it's going to take some time to get through. You gotta have big perspective, I guess, and know what your body can handle and what it can't and today it just ... wasn't ... wasn't in the cards.

Abdihakem Abdirahman followed with a DNF of his own, just moments after Hall, leaving Meb Keflezighi as the only American still running. At the 25km mark, he was 1:49 off the lead, in 14th place.


Americans Ryan Hall, Abdihakem Abdirahman Withdraw From Olympic Marathon

Two of the Team USA runners in the men's marathon have dropped out of the race in the early going Sunday morning at the Summer Olympics.

Ryan Hall, the fastest American marathoner ever, stepped off the course roughly 54 minutes into the marathon and appeared to be grabbing his right hamstring, just below his butt cheek. Hall had been battling plantar fasciiitis since the fall. Then just seconds later, teammate Abdihakem Abdirahman withdrew, seemingly favoring his right foot.

Neither of the two runners, who now receive a "DNF," were in medal contention. At the 15k checkpoint, shortly after the race leader Kenyan Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich upped the pace, Abdi was 1:10 back and Hall was in 50th place, 1:59 off the lead.

Their withdrawals leave Meb Keflezighi, who at at 37 is the oldest member of Team USA, as the only American still on the course. He was 39 seconds back at the 15k point, and and then 1:03 behind Kipsang at the 20k mark.

For Hall, who ran a truly-world class 2:06:17 in the 2008 London Marathon (a different course than Sunday), the fastest time ever by an American, it's an extremely disappointing result.

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