Tiki Gelana of Ethiopia celebrates as she crosses the finish line to win the gold medal in the women’s Marathon at The Mall on Day 9.
Ethiopia’s 24-year-old Tiki Gelana, in her first major championship, crossed the finish line on The Mall in an Olympic record of 2:23.07.
Kenya’s Priscah Jeptoo took silver and Russia’s Tatyana Arkhipova Petrova the bronze, with pre-race favourite Mary Keitany finishing fourth.
The rain was pouring down for the start on The Mall and the streets were lined with spectators under Union Jack umbrellas.
The tight lapped course featured one small loop of two miles followed by three larger ones of eight and took in iconic sights such as St Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament and the Tower of London.
With the Kenyan and Ethiopian contingent happy to remain patient it was a large leading group which went through halfway in 1:13.13.
The pack gradually became stretched, one by one athletes dropping back, and going into the final couple of kilometers it had developed into a four-horse race.
Two-time reigning London Marathon champion Keitany had no more to give, leaving Gelana, who recovered from slipping earlier in the race, Jeptoo and Petrova Arkhipova to fight it out for the medals.
The Ethiopian always looked the stronger and she surged away down The Mall to take victory.
She said: ‘It was a great race. I really loved it. As soon as the rain started, I said to myself “Thank God”. I love running in the rain.
‘I have been doing that since I was a small child. I slipped in the middle of the race and my elbow is still injured. But I didn’t feel any pain.’