Kiprotich wins Uganda's first medal in London

13:38, Aug 12 2012
Stephen Kiprotich
LEADING THE WAY: Ugandan Stephen Kiprotich breaks the tape on The Mall to win the men's marathon.

Ugandan Stephen Kiprotich won Uganda's first medal of the London Olympics today after he shot to the front with six kms remaining to defeat the experienced Kenyan pair of Abel Kirui and Wilson Kipsang.

John Akii-Bua, who set a world record in the 1972 Munich Olympics 400 metres hurdles final, is Uganda's only other Olympic champion.

A huge crowd packed the streets of central London during a sun-baked morning on the final day of the Games to watch Kiprotich join twice world gold medallist Kirui and London marathon champion Wilson Kipsang at the 30-km mark.

Six kilometres later Kiprotich pounced and held on to win in two hours eight minutes one second, 26 seconds ahead of Kirui with Kipsang a further 1:10 behind.

Kipsang made an early break, splitting the field and passing through the halfway stage in 63 minutes 15 seconds. He was gradually reeled in and joined by Kiprotich and Kirui in a three-man race for the gold.

The race, past some of London's most notable landmarks, started and finished in the Mall near Buckingham Palace. It comprised one short and three longer circuits through the heart of London.