London 2012 Olympics: Murray first Briton home following Yamauchi injury
Scotland’s Freya Murray was the first Briton home in the marathon yesterday after Mara Yamauchi’s Olympic dream ended in tears on the rainy streets of London as injury forced her out less than ten kilometres in.
Ethiopian 24-year-old Tiki Gelana claimed a surprise gold medal in a new Olympic record, but the hopes of Great Britain’s leading contender had ended long before.
A week after Paula Radcliffe withdrew from London 2012 with a foot problem, an injured and visibly upset Yamauchi stopped on the side of the road around 9.4km into the race as she decided she could go no further.
The 38-year-old Oxford athlete had been hampered by a bruised heel in the build-up to the Games and was clearly not fit. Yamauchi, who finished sixth in the Beijing Olympics, said: “On about the second corner it started hurting. It’s not the best situation to be in, dropping out of the Olympic marathon at a home Games, but I gave it my very best.
“I’m sorry for all the people who supported me and encouraged me and came today in the pouring rain to support me, but I am still so pleased for their help.
“I did think about withdrawing beforehand but I decided it’s not that bad, I can run, I can do the race and I had much higher hopes, but sadly it wasn’t to be.”
Gelana, in her first major championship, crossed the finish line on The Mall in two hours 23.07 minutes with Kenya’s Priscah Jeptoo taking silver and Russia’s Tatyana Petrova Arkhipova the bronze.
Murray came home in 44th place in the 118-strong field, clocking 2hrs 32.14mins. Her team-mate Claire Hallissey finished 57th in 2:35.39.
The race completed a whirlwind seven days for Murray, who was only called up to the team a week ago, having been about to do her weekly shop when she received a text from Radcliffe saying she was withdrawing.
She said: “Paula is an inspiration to everybody and I’ve always looked up to her so it was sad to be trying to fill her shoes, if you like. I was never going to do that today, but just to be here was fantastic.”
The 28-year-old also paid tribute to Yamauchi, saying: “I know she had issues coming into it. Mara has been brilliant – when you’re coming into something and you have an injury it can be really hard to be positive for the other person, but she didn’t let it dampen the mood, so I really appreciate that.”
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 12 C to 20 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: East