Namibia’s Hellalia Johannes winning the Marathon gold at the Commonwealth Games in a time of 2:32:40NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 15- Kenya’s national anthem won’t sound on the final day of the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia as the country’s athletes missed out on medals in the final event of the athletics calendar, the men’s and women’s marathon.
Defending champion Michael Shalley won the men’s race in the most dramatic of ways with previous leaders Scotland’s Callum Hawkins collapsing two kilometers to the finish line and had to be assisted into the ambulance.
The Australian became only the second man in Commonwealth Games history to successfully defend the title, clocking 2:16:46. Uganda’s Solomon Mutai came home in silver while Scotland’s Robbie Thompson made up for his mate’s misfortune picking up bronze.
Kenya’s Julius Karinga and Kenneth Mungara finished in ninth and 10th respectively while Nicholas Kamakya finished second last.
In the women’s race, Kenya looked to be on course for at least a medal but after the 35km mark, Sheila Jerotich drifted away with Namibia’s Hellalia Johannes winning gold in a time of 2:32:40.
Jerotich came in fourth in 2:36.19 behind Australia’s Lisa Weightman and Jessica Trengove at second and third respectively.
The men’s race provided some sort of drama with two athletes dropping off in strong medal positions.
Lesotho’s Thepo Masibelled was the first to drop out after almost 30km when he was looking well on course for bronze with Uganda’s Mutai almost two minutes behind him.
Scotland’s Hawkins who had injected some immense pace to go it alone from the five kilometer mark started wobbling off the road at around 38km and collapsed at one point before picking himself up to try and battle for gold.
The Scot found himself on the tarmac at the 40km mark and this time, his attempts at picking himself up were of futility, spending almost three minutes on the floor trying to pick up before the medics arrived and Shalley strolled infront of him.
The moment he was picked up by the medical team, that was the end of his race.
After a pedestrian start, the Scot decided to take charge by himself, opening up a gap of almost 20m between him and the rest. All this time, the Kenyan duo of Mungara and Karinga were well placed in the chasing pack and looked on course for a medal.
The 44-year old Mungara who won the Gold Coast marathon on the same course last year looked strong but on the 30km mark, he started dropping off. That was the end of the medal prospects as they failed to match the pace of the leaders.
In the women’s race, Jerotich seemed to have taken control of the race at the 32km mark when she bolted upfront, but just three kilometers later, she ran out of gas.
Johannes who had all this time run a tactful race carefully picked her pace and began to open up with the Australian duo on her neck. However, she kept on the surge opening the gap and with five kilometers left, there was no doubt that she was winning the race.
Behind Jerotich at fourth, Shelmith Nyawira finished 10th clocking 2:47:53 while Hellen Musyoka did not finish the race