Jemima Sumgong wound up the year 2016 with a course record in Brazil as she won the St. Silverster Road Race on Saturday 31 December.
Sumgong, who won gold in the marathon at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics and the London Marathon last year, clocked 48:35 to win the 15km New Year’s Eve run, shattering the previous record of 48:48 set in 2011. Compatriot Flomena Cheyech Daniel came in 40 second later to take the silver.
In the men’s race, Ethiopian Leul Aleme ran the distance in 44:53 to take the gold in front of compatriot Dawit Admasu, who came in seven seconds behind. Kenyan Stephen Kosgei was third.
Born and bred in the Nandi District, Sumgong began to compete abroad in 2004, and went on to establish herself as a runner on the American road circuit in 2005.
She ran her first marathon in Las Vegas in 2006, winning on her first attempt in a time of 2:35:22. In 2009, she took a break to establish a family with fellow marathoner Noah Talam. She returned in 2011 and in the next two years ran in the Boston, Rotterdam and London marathons, where she recorded impressive results, without winning any.
By 2016, she was in fine form and on April 24, she won the London Marathon, an event she will remember for a long time because she fell during the run, but still managed to finish ahead of the rest of the field. On 14 August 2016, she won a gold medal in the Rio Olympics with a time of 2:24:04. Her2016 Olympic gold medal became Kenya’s first gold medal in the women’s Olympic marathon.