Stephen Kiprotich Validates His Olympic Title With A World Title; Lelisa Desisa Proves He’s A Star With Silver

Kiprotich Credits Haile Gebrselassie For Helping Inspire Win, Desisa Nabs Silver Despite Vomiting Before The Race

August 17, 2013

The men’s marathon was decided right near 41 kilometers.

At that point, the race was down to two, 2012 Olympic champion Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda and Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia, who had already won two marathons this year with big kicks.

Desisa first had won the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon out-kicking four others to win in 2:04:45. Then, three months later he was in Boston, out-kicking two others to win the 2013 Boston Marathon.

Here Desisa did not get to show his finishing speed as after the 2:06 mark, Kiprotich accelerated and opened a small lead on Desisa. Kiprotich took the lead as the duo were leaving the main road and entering the Olympic park with a series of soft turns.

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Desisa had been sitting on Kiprotich for a while and was trying to stay in Kiprotich’s slip stream, but Kiprotich decided to make it even harder to be tracked. Before they hit the soft turns, Kiprotich started zig-zagging on his own. Instead of running the tangent, Desisa zig-zagged behind him. Very strange indeed, but certainly great theatre. This is what championship racing is all about.

However, Kiprotich was too good and soon Desisa was dropped and Kiprotich would extend his lead to the finish over the final kilometer, winning 2:09:51 to Desisa’s 2:10:12. 2:04:49 man Tadese Tola of Ethiopia, who had been with them until the 2:03 mark, got the bronze and this year’s London champ Tsegay Kebede was fourth as Ethiopia went 2-3-4. Kenntaro Nakamoto of Japan, sixth in the Olympics, was 5th here and then two Brazilians, Solonei Da Silva and Paulo Robert Paula, who had run together the entire way, finished hand in hand in sixth and seventh.

Quick Takes: Desisa Is Officially a Marathon Star – He Vomited BEFORE the Race
After the race, Desisa revealed he had not felt well this morning (the race started at 3:30 pm) and vomited after breakfast. He said, “I wasn’t feeling well this morning and vomited after breakfast. During the race my mouth was dry. With 2 kilometers to go, I thought I could compete with Kiprotich, and normally I am a good finisher since I am originally a 10,000m runner, but I wasn’t able to change gears, maybe because what happened this morning. Before the race we were aiming for an Ethiopian sweep and we worked a lot as a team. We ended up with silver and bronze, which is not that bad after all.”

Well never know what would have happened if Desisas was 100% healthy but we can say he is a marathon star.

8 months ago he had never run a marathon.

Now he’s run:
2:04:45 1st in Dubai in debut
2:10:22 1st in Boston
2:10:12 2nd at World Champs

What’s their not to like about the guy? He’s only 23 and has shown he can run well on a flat fast course (Dubai), a hilly course (Boston), and a Championship course in warmer weather (Moscow).

It’ll be interesting to see now if he tried and get a big payday by running a fourth marathon this year. The smarter choice would be to defend in Dubai or hold out and run London next spring.

As for the strange zig-zagging, Desisa did not explain why he zig-zagged behind Kiprotich instead of taking the tangent, but re-watching the replay it might have been a combination of the fatigue of the marathon and the upcoming series of soft-turns. The runners were about to go through a zig-zag on the course and when Kiprotich started zig-zagging on his own before that, Desisas just followed him.

The Cool Story of Kiprotich and Haile Gebrselassie
Kiprotich surprised just about everyone by winning the Olympics. He showed that was no fluke as he got the win here versus a very strong Ethiopian team.

Afterwards, Kiprotich was asked which title, Worlds or the Olympics, was the best for him. He got a chuckle out of everyone with his witty response, “The current one is the best. Last year the Olympics is the best and now this one is the best.”

(As an aside, we really like Kiprotich’s personality. Not sure if that comes out in the video below, but he’s a good ambassador for the sport).

Kiprotich was asked if he had a hero who inspired him in the sport and he mentioned Haile Gebrselassie.

In 2007, Kiprotich and Haile raced at the Heerenberg Montferland Run in the Netherlands.  Here are the results from

Pl. Athlete / Team Cnt. Birth Result Score
1. Haile GEBRSELASSIE ETH 73 42:36 1155 SB
2. Ali Mabruk EL ZAIDI LBA 78 42:42 1149 PB
3. Wilson Kipsang KIPROTICH KEN 82 43:30 1102 PB
4. Wesley LANGAT KEN 86 43:55 1078 PB
5. Khalid BOUMELILI MAR 78 44:23 1051 PB
6. Mesefin ADIMASU ETH 85 44:37 1037 PB
7. Khalid EL AMRI MAR 77 44:41 1034 PB
8. Nouredinne ATHAMNA ALG 84 45:51 968 SB
9. Sander SCHUTGENS NED 75 46:14 956 SB
10. Hans JANSSENS BEL 80 46:14 956
11. Stephen KIPROTICH UGA 89 46:15 955

Who would have thought that a guy in 11th place, beaten by 3:39 would 5 years later be the Olympic champion? Kiprotich, a student of the sport (he remembered he was 11th place in the race in talking about it a the press conference), took advantage of the opportunity of being with Haile at the race and asked him, “What do I need to do so I run good?” Haile, according to Kiprotich, had a simple answer, “You need to train well for five years.”

What happened 5 year later? Kiprotich won the Olympics.

Prior to the Olympics, Kiprotich and Haile both crossed paths at the February 2012 Tokyo Marathon where Kiprotich was third in 2:07:50 and Gebrselassie fourth in 2:08:17. Stephen asked Kiprotich if he remember him. Haile said he did, proving to Kiprotich, “I knew he was a sharp headed man.”

Kiprotich Talks About Gebrselassie Influence

For more for Kiprotich at the press conference click here.

The Americans react.

The self coached Jeff Eggleston led the Americans in 13th place. Scott Simmons coached Daniel Tapia was 27th and the Brad Hudson coached Carlos Trujillo was 37th.

Jeff Eggleston Self Coached With No Training Partners
Eggleston had a very good day. The goal was a top 15 or a top 20 finish and he finished 13th running very even splits: 1:06:51 and 1:07:32. (The top 3 guys were the only ones to negative split today). Eggleston, who lives in the running mecca of Boulder, Colorado, trains by himself and is self-coached. Those of you looking for the “secret” keep looking as he said there isn’t one. Eggleston said today was all about going off the feedback his body was giving him and he has learned how to do that from training by himself.

Daniel Tapia Done With Law School Heading to Colorado Springs
Tapia only found out a month ago he was running here when Mo Trafeh pulled out. The Scott Simmons coached athlete went to altitude and ramped up his training to compete here. Tapia now done with law school, had also been studying for the law bar exam which he took. He now will be moving to Colorado Springs to train with Simmons group.

Carlos Trujillo 37th Place
The former Oregon Duck lives in Boise, Idaho and is coached remotely by Brad Hudson.

Race splits here.

Details 1 1080 Stephen KIPROTICH UGAUGA 2:09:51
Details 2 417 Lelisa DESISA ETHETH 2:10:12
Details 3 430 Tadese TOLA ETHETH 2:10:23
Details 4 425 Tsegay KEBEDE ETHETH 2:10:47
Details 5 680 Kentaro NAKAMOTO JPNJPN 2:10:50
Details 6 214 Solonei DA SILVA BRABRA 2:11:40 SB
Details 7 222 Paulo Roberto PAULA BRABRA 2:11:40 SB
Details 8 431 Yemane TSEGAY ETHETH 2:11:43 SB
Details 9 723 Peter Kimeli SOME KENKEN 2:11:47
Details 10 1079 Jackson KIPROP UGAUGA 2:12:12
Details 11 364 Beraki BEYENE ERIERI 2:13:40 SB
Details 12 713 Bernard Kiprop KIPYEGO KENKEN 2:14:01
Details 13 1124 Jeff EGGLESTON USAUSA 2:14:23 SB
Details 14 662 Masakazu FUJIWARA JPNJPN 2:14:29
Details 15 383 Javier GUERRA ESPESP 2:14:33
Details 16 370 Samuel TSEGAY ERIERI 2:14:41 SB
Details 17 676 Kazuhiro MAEDA JPNJPN 2:15:25
Details 18 675 Yuki KAWAUCHI JPNJPN 2:15:35
Details 19 1078 Abraham KIPLIMO UGAUGA 2:16:25
Details 20 261 Rob WATSON CANCAN 2:16:28 SB
Details 21 599 Paul POLLOCK IRLIRL 2:16:42 SB
Details 22 1029 Mustafa MOHAMED SWESWE 2:17:09 SB
Details 23 134 Martin DENT AUSAUS 2:17:11 SB
Details 24 971 Aleksey SOKOLOV RUSRUS 2:17:12
Details 25 714 Michael Kipkorir KIPYEGO KENKEN 2:17:47
Details 26 903 Marius IONESCU ROUROU 2:18:31
Details 27 1171 Daniel TAPIA USAUSA 2:18:32 SB
Details 28 461 Benjamin MALATY FRAFRA 2:19:21
Details 29 1204 Jordan CHIPANGAMA ZAMZAM 2:19:47
Details 30 350 Miguel Ángel ALMACHI ECUECU 2:19:48 SB
Details 31 369 Kiflom SIUM ERIERI 2:20:01
Details 32 1043 Chia-Che CHANG TPETPE 2:20:02 SB
Details 33 564 Jeremías SALOJ GUAGUA 2:20:40 SB
Details 34 1036 Faustine MUSSA TANTAN 2:20:51
Details 35 1010 Christian KREIENBÜHL SUISUI 2:21:17
Details 36 797 Ser-Od BAT-OCHIR MGLMGL 2:21:55
Details 37 1175 Carlos TRUJILLO USAUSA 2:23:13 SB
Details 38 149 Tilahun ALIYEV AZEAZE 2:23:32
Details 39 1035 Mohamed Ikoki MSANDEKI TANTAN 2:24:20 SB
Details 40 601 Zohar ZEMIRO ISRISR 2:25:23
Details 41 1011 Michael OTT SUISUI 2:26:02
Details 42 1097 Vasyl MATVIYCHUK UKRUKR 2:26:21 SB
Details 43 919 Sibusiso NZIMA RSARSA 2:26:32
Details 44 739 Jihun SUNG KORKOR 2:26:43
Details 45 290 Shujin YIN CHNCHN 2:27:19
Details 46 785 Roman PRODIUS MDAMDA 2:29:08
Details 47 922 Hendrick RAMAALA RSARSA 2:30:23
Details 48 783 Sergiu CIOBANU MDAMDA 2:34:17 SB
Details 49 731 Youngjin KIM KORKOR 2:35:53
Details 50 136 Shawn FORREST AUSAUS 2:39:09 SB
Details 51 694 Mihail KRASSILOV KAZKAZ 2:44:31 SB
Details 707 Nicholas KIPKEMBOI KENKEN DNF
Details 715 Bernard Kiprop KOECH KENKEN DNF
Details 768 Mohamed BILAL MARMAR DNF
Details 770 Hafid CHANI MARMAR DNF
Details 663 Hiroyuki HORIBATA JPNJPN DNF
Details 427 Feyisa LILESA ETHETH DNF
Details 105 Tayeb FILALI ALGALG DNF
Details 363 Yared ASMEROM ERIERI DNF
Details 366 Yonas KIFLE ERIERI DNF
Details 795 José Antonio URIBE MEXMEX DNF
Details 812 Michel BUTTER NEDNED DNF
Details 887 Hermano FERREIRA PORPOR DNF
Details 980 Jean Pierre MVUYEKURE RWARWA DNF
Details 227 Aadam Ismaeel KHAMIS BRNBRN DNF
Details 1067 Wissem HOSNI TUNTUN DNF

*More Worlds Coverage Here

Stephen Kiprotich Wins the World  Marathon Title Stephen Kiprotich Wins the World Marathon Title
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