Marathon misery for Brit Yamauchi as Ethiopia's Gelana wins shock gold
13:23 GMT, 5 August 2012
Mara Yamauchi's Olympic marathon lasted less than 10 kilometres on the rainy streets of London on Sunday as Ethiopian Tiki Gelana took a surprise gold.
A week after Paula Radcliffe withdrew from London 2012 with a foot problem, an injured Yamauchi stopped in tears on the side of the road around 9.4km into the race as she decided she could go no further.
The 38-year-old Oxford athlete had been hampered by a bruised heel in the build-up to the Games and, although determined to get to the startline, was clearly not fit.
Golden moment: Tiki Gelana crosses the finish line to win the women's marathon
Gelana, in her first major championship, crossed the finish line on The Mall in two hours 23.07 minutes, an Olympic record, with Kenya's Priscah Jeptoo taking silver and Russia's Tatyana Petrova Arkhipova the bronze.
Scotland's Freya Murray, who had only been called up to the team a week ago following Radcliffe's withdrawal, was the first Briton home in 44th place, clocking 2hrs 32.14mins.
Her team-mate Claire Hallissey finished 57th in 2:35.39.
And they're off: The competitors leave the start line
Yamauchi, though, was one of eight in the 118-strong field not to finish.
The 38-year-old, who finished sixth
in the Beijing Olympic marathon but has since been plagued by injury,
could not live with even the steady early pace of the large leading
'I was more than confident I could
give it a good go and I started off but on about the second corner it
(my heel) started hurting,' she said.
Wet, wet, wet: The runners had to contend with rain throughout the race
'I did my best – it's not the best
situation to be in, dropping out of the Olympic marathon at a home Games
– but I gave it my very best and I didn't want my Olympic journey to
end like this.
'I'm sorry for all the people who
supported me and encouraged me and came today in the pouring rain to
support me but I am still so pleased for their help.
'I've been doing lots of work cross
training and a reasonable amount of running so I knew cardio-vascular
wise I was fit and I have been able to run my foot.
'I did think about withdrawing
beforehand but I decided it's not that bad I can run I can do the race
and I had much higher hopes but sadly it wasn't to be.'
Shock win: Gelana was not expected to challenge for gold