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Kenyan Wins Marathon at World Athletics Championships


Kenya has captured the first gold medal of the World Athletics Championships in Osaka, Japan. As VOA's David Byrd reports, Luke Kibet of Kenya ended his country's long world championship drought on a steamy day in Osaka.

Kibet finished the 42.195 kilometer race in 2:15:59. The Kenyan is the first men's marathon world champion from his country in 20 years. The last Kenyan to win the title was Douglas Wakiihuri.

Kibet said that his victory was driven by a promise he made before coming to Osaka.

"I'm happy, because it is a long time for Kenya to get a gold in the marathon," he said. "But when I came from Kenya I told them 'we are going and I will try to get a gold in the marathon.' But I am happy because I have won."

Qatar's Mubarak Hassan Shami took silver one minute, 19 seconds back with Switzerland's Vikto Roethlin taking the bronze.

The race was run in hot, humid conditions, with a temperature of 33 degrees (celsius) and 67 percent humidity at the finish line. Two more gold medals - in the men's shot put and the women's 10,000 meters - will also be awarded Saturday.

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