- Victor Kiplangat (Uganda) – 2:08:53
- Maru Teferi (Israel) – 2:09:12
- Leul Gebresilase (Ethiopia) – 2:09:19
Uganda’s Victor Kiplangat has won Gold in Marathon at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary.
Kiplangat clocked 2:08:53 for his second gold, a year after he won Gold in this event at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Israel’s Maru Teferi finished second, beating off Ethiopia’s Leul Gebreselasie to silver in the closing stages.
Stephen Kissa who had a fall around the 33rd km on, came fifth in another solid show of bravery.
The other Ugandan athlete Andrew Kwemoi and defending champion Tamirat Tola (Ethiopia) were among the 25 that did not finish the race.
It’s the second gold for Uganda at the Championships after Joshua Cheptegei won the 10,000m earlier on.
It’s Uganda’s first Marathon gold at the World Championships since Stephen Kiprotich won the 2013 event in Moscow.
Uganda will hope to close out this final day (Sunday) in style with three finalists – Oscar Chelimo (5000m), Halima Nakaayi (800m) and Peruth Chemutai (3000m SC) – coming up in the evening session.
Kiplangat Proves Doubters Wrong
Few Ugandan athletes have managed to live as advertised, and many have been branded as one-hit wonders.
Many thought Kiplangat’s gold in Birmingham was a fluke, such was a wild thought for the athlete who won the World Mountain Running Championships as a teen in 2017 in Italy.
It wasn’t going to be put on a silver plate for him in a classy field where Tamirat Tola was the favourite to defend his title he won with the fastest ever winning time of 2:05:36 in Oregon.
The Ethiopian team had full support of Milkesa Mengesha, the 2019 world U20 cross-country champion, Chalu Deso who won in Tokyo in March in 2:05:22, Leul Gebresilasie who finished second and fourth at the last two London Marathons and Tsegaye Getachew who was third in Tokyo in April.
Kenya looked the best placed side to stop an all Ethiopian podium, despite being without Kelvin Kuptum and Geoffrey Kamworor.
The Kenyan team was stacked with Timothy Kiplagat, Joshua Belet, Titus Kipruto.
And when the race started, Uganda’s team remained confident and fancied their chances.
And they remained with the chasing pack for the best part of the race.
At 30km, the duo of Kiplangat and Kissa were 1-2, while Gebreselasie and Tola sat 3-4, with Kenyan Kiplagat close by in fifth.
Kissa had a fall when he collided into Kenyan Kiplagat to fall off the leading pack.
And the Ugandan Kiplangat started to break away. With him, he went with the Ethiopian Gebreselassie and Tola who were monitoring his steps.
At 34km, Kiplangat injected more pace, followed by Gebreselasie as Tola fell off the pace. Kissa started to surge back into fourth.
Gold was for Kiplangat or Gebreselasie at this stage who had moved out of sight from the rest, but the Ugandan pulled a sizeable lead with 2km to go to show his intent.
Nothing could stop Kiplangat at that stage, surely nothing for an athlete who took a wrong turn last year in Birmingham before powering home.
No wrong turn this time, and he grabbed a Ugandan flag few miles to the tape, before crossing the finish line in Two hours, 8 minutes and 53 seconds.