Kiprotich admits he was seeking to win a medal, not gold
Posted Sunday, August 12 2012 at 14:00
BUKCINGHAM PALACE – Stephen Kiprotich said he was happy to join John Akii-Bua as Uganda’s second ever Olympic gold medalist after emerging as the shock winner of the London 2012 marathon.
The 23-year-old stunned Kenyans Abel Kirui and Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich to land gold in the gruelling 42km distance.
“I have been training hard for it (marathon),” a visibly delighted Kiprotich said. “I’m happy to be spoken about in the same way like Akii Bua.”
Akii Bua won Uganda her only other gold medal in the 400m hurdles of the 1972 Munich Olympics.
Kiprotich admitted he wasn’t fancying his chances of winning gold. “I wanted to win a medal. But I was not sure of gold. I had to push my all.”
The overnight superstar, who can expect the mother of welcomes when he touches down on Wednesday morning, saved Team Uganda’s horrendous performance in London.
Chef de Mission Denis Galabuzi said Kiprotich’s teammates had urged him on Saturday.
“Abraham Kiplimo, Thomas Ayeko and Moses Kipsiro encouraged him all through yesterday (Saturday),” Galabuzi explained.
“They urged him on and instilled confidence in him. The long wait has come to an end.”
“When Kipsiro didn’t make it, we were hoping for a miracle. And Kiprotich delivered it.”
Kiprotich’s medal elevated Uganda to 50th position on the medals table. 205 countries took part in the London 2012 Games.