Unlike many tournaments where Uganda has two wait for more than a week to reap a medal, it did not take long at the ongoing Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.
Only four days after the opening ceremony, Uganda earned her first medal after Abraham Kiplimo took third place in the men’s 42km marathon on Sunday.
Kiplimo, who fell at a water point during the race, was favourite among the trio of him, Phillip Kiplimo and Solomon Mutai, and held off the later in the final stretch to clock two hours, 12 minutes and 23 seconds.
Mutai came fourth in 2:12.26 while Kiplimo clocked 2:14:09 in eighth place.
Abraham’s feat ensured it was also Uganda’s first Games medal ever in the men’s marathon and the country further the 21st to appear on the medal table, which is currently led by Australia.
But it was Australian Michael Shelley who increased his country’s tally to 19 golds as he stunned a much East African dominated leading pack along the streets of Glasgow.
“I’ve got to pinch myself, it is very exciting,” Shelley said. “To come back and actually win is indescribable. Now I have had a bit more experience, to come away with my first win is indescribable.
Shelley, who won silver four years ago in Delhi, became the first Australian to win the Games’ marathon for 20 years and the first to claim consecutive medals in the event since Steve Moneghetti in 1990 and 1994.
“You just try to run the best you possibly can and it was a dream to be honest. I’m still buzzing, I can’t believe it. It probably wasn’t until a kilometer out that I got a bit of a feeling.
“I just kept pushing on. My main idea was to stay relaxed and I was always there in the lead group. At 35 kilometers there was a surge. I just had to stay strong and it paid off.”
Kenya’s Stephen Chemlany clinched silver and more Kenyan medals in the women’s marathon followed soon afterwards when Cheyech Daniel capped an excellent performance to win gold ahead of compatriot Caroline Kilel.
Australia’s Jess Trengove added to her country’s burgeoning medal tally when she crossed the line for bronze to cheers from a large crowd on a drizzly day in Scotland.
2014 COMMONWEALTH GAMES – GLASGOW
MEN’S MARATHON – RESULT
1. Michael Shelley (AUS) 2:11:15
2. Stephen Chemlany (KEN) 2:11:58
3. Abraham Kiplimo (UGA) 2:12:23
4. Solomon Mutai (UGA) 2:12:26
5. John Eriku Kelai (KEN) 2:12:41
6. Erick Ndiema (KEN) 2:13:44
7. Liam Adams (AUS) 2:13:49
8. Philip Kiplimo (UGA) 2:14:09