Olympics: Kenyan Jemima Jelagat Sumgong wins marathon, as protesters try to disrupt race

Kenya's Jemima Jelagat Sumgong celebrates her victory in the Women's Marathon at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on Sunday (Aug 14).
Kenya's Jemima Jelagat Sumgong celebrates her victory in the Women's Marathon at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on Sunday (Aug 14). PHOTO: AFP
Singapore's Neo Jie Shi approaching the finish line during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games women's marathon.
Singapore's Neo Jie Shi approaching the finish line during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games women's marathon. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Singapore's Neo Jie Shi  approaches the finish line during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games women's marathon on Aug 14.
Singapore's Neo Jie Shi approaches the finish line during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games women's marathon on Aug 14.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Singapore's Neo Jie Shi approaching the finish line in the marathon at Sambodromo in Rio.
Singapore's Neo Jie Shi approaching the finish line in the marathon at Sambodromo in Rio. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Singapore's Neo Jie Shi  makes a gesture of love to Singapore fans after completing the Rio 2016 Olympic Games women's marathon on Aug 14.
Singapore's Neo Jie Shi makes a gesture of love to Singapore fans after completing the Rio 2016 Olympic Games women's marathon on Aug 14.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Marathon runners (from left) Leila, Lily and Liina Luik of Estonia made history by becoming the first set of triplets to compete in the Olympics on Aug 14.
Marathon runners (from left) Leila, Lily and Liina Luik of Estonia made history by becoming the first set of triplets to compete in the Olympics on Aug 14.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

RIO DE JANEIRO (REUTERS) - Kenyan Jemima Jelagat Sumgong won gold in the women's Olympic marathon on Sunday (Aug 14) in two hours, 24 minutes and four seconds to become the first Kenyan woman to take the title, as protesters tried to disrupt the race.

Bahrain's Eunice Jepkirui Kirwa claimed silver and Ethiopian Mare Dibaba snatched the bronze.

Singapore's Neo Jie Shi finished 131st out of 133 in the women's marathon. She finished her race in 3:15:18.

Estonia's Luik sisters also made history as the first set of triplets ever to compete in the Olympics, as they  ran the marathon together.

Of  the three 30-year-olds, Lily Luik made the best showing, placing 97th in the field. Sister Leila came in 114th, while Liina did not finish the marathon.

Sumgong, 31, bided her time throughout the race, staying with the leading pack and not moving ahead until the final kilometres.

Belarusian Volha Mazuronak, 27, shook up the pack halfway through, taking the lead and briefly pulling ahead of the lead group.

The move pushed the pace, stringing out what had been a lead pack of more than two dozen runners, causing some to drop back.

It was the first in a series of attacks by the first-time Olympian, who was ultimately unable to sustain the pace and was dropped by the leaders in the closing stages before finishing fifth.

Protesters on Sunday ran in front of the leaders near the finish before being intercepted by police on motorcycles.

About five demonstrators were seen climbing over barriers to get onto the course in front of Sumgong and other leaders about 2km from the end.

Each time the intruder got on the course, they were chased by police. The runners were not disrupted.

Other protest banners were seen earlier in the race on the sidelines. Opponents of Brazil's interim leader Michel Temer waved "Fora Temer" (Temer out) banners all along the course.

The Olympic hosts are in the midst of a political crisis with Mr Temer in the firing line of the opposition since he took over from President Dilma Rousseff, who faces an impeachment trial.