TOKYO 2020: Kenya is first country ever to win both gold and silver in single Women’s Olympic marathon

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Gold medalist Peres Jepchirchir of Team Kenya, silver medalist Brigid Kosgei of Team Kenya and bronze medalist Molly Seidel of Team United States pose for photos after finishing the Women's Marathon Final on day fifteen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Kasumigaseki Country Club on August 07, 2021 in Kawagoe, Japan. (Photo by Clive Brunskill / Getty Images)
Gold medalist Peres Jepchirchir of Team Kenya, silver medalist Brigid Kosgei of Team Kenya and bronze medalist Molly Seidel of Team United States pose for photos after finishing the Women’s Marathon Final on day fifteen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Kasumigaseki Country Club on August 07, 2021 in Kawagoe, Japan. (Photo by Clive Brunskill / Getty Images via CFP)

Kenya’s 1-2 result in the Tokyo 2020 Women’s Marathon race on Saturday made the country the first ever to take both gold and silver in the category in the Olympics history.

The result also made the East African country just the third to defend the Women’s Marathon title after taking top honors in the Rio 2016 Games. The other countries with that honor are Japan and Ethiopia.

Peres Jepchirchir is the latest female gold winner in the race, having clocked a time of 2:27:20, ahead of her compatriot Brigid Kosgei who posted a time of 2:27:36.

Molly Seidel of the United States completed the podium places in a time of 2:27:46.

The two Kenyans were joined in the race by Ruth Chepng’etich as they sought to defend the title first won by Jemima Sumgong in Rio 2016.

Before 2016, Kenya’s best performance in the Women’s marathon category was posted by legendary marathoner Catherine Ndereba, who took Silver in two consecutive Olympics; Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008.

Jepchirchir’s win was much welcomed by Kenyans who have been left disappointed in other races that they hoped would be won by one of their own.

The East African nation is considered to be a global athletics powerhouse, often expected to challenge for top honors in track events.

Kenya now has a total of nine Olympic medals from the Tokyo Games; 3 Gold, 4 Silver, 2 Bronze.

The country remains hopeful of earning even more medals when Eliud Kipchoge, Lawrence Cherono and Amos Kipruto take to the track in the Men’s marathon race to be staged on Sunday.

Kenya has won the Olympic Men’s marathon race twice before; first in Beijing 2008 when Samuel Wanjiru clinched Gold and in Rio 2016 when Kipchoge took top honors.

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