A few zigzag moves near the end secured the men’s marathon gold medal for Stephen Kiprotich.
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The Olympic champion from Uganda used the moves to break free of Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia shortly before entering Luzhniki Stadium on Saturday at the world championships. He then cruised home, waving to the fans and slapping the palms of others as he went by.
Kiprotich won in 2 hours, 9 minutes, 51 seconds — 21 seconds ahead of Desisa, the winner of the Boston and Dubai marathons. Another Ethiopian, Tadese Tola, took the bronze, 32 seconds behind.
No Kenyans were in the top three for the first time at a world championship since 2005. Kenyans had won the past three world titles.
The best Kenyan on a sunny and warm afternoon in Moscow was Peter Some in ninth place.
Ethiopians, however, had four runners in the top eight, but failed to grab the coveted gold medal they’ve missed out on since 2001.
The three medalists were among six runners who pulled away from the pack after 35 kilometers. Some, including Tsegay Kabede of Ethiopia and Kentaro Nakamoto of Japan, were eventually dropped and the lead pack was left to decide the race alone.
Kiprotich then stepped up the pace at the 40th kilometer. Desisa followed but Tola dropped back.
Approaching the stadium, Kiprotich executed his zigzag moves, throwing Desisa off his rhythm and leaving him behind.