Feb 29, 2020; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Galen Rupp celebrates after winning the men’s race in 2:09:20 during the US Olympic Team Trials marathon. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
ATLANTA (Reuters) – Galen Rupp powered to his second consecutive U.S. Olympic marathon trials victory as the 2016 Rio bronze medallist showed he is fully recovered from 2018 Achilles surgery on Saturday.
The 33-year-old dominated the final 11 miles as he won in two hours, nine minutes and 20 seconds in chilly and windy conditions on a hilly downtown Atlanta course.
“It’s incredible,” Rupp told NBC Sports. “I feel relief almost more than anything. It’s been a really long year and a half, but I can’t tell you how happy I am.”
Jake Riley, who also underwent Achilles surgery in 2018, claimed second in a personal best 2:10.02 with 43-year-old Somalian-born Abdi Abdirahman stunningly third just a second adrift from Riley as they made the American team for the Tokyo Olympics.
In a much closer women’s race, Kenyan-born American Alphine Tuliamuk, 30, won in 2:27:23 with 25-year-old Molly Seidel eight seconds behind in her first marathon.
Sally Kipyego, the Kenyan 2012 Olympic 10,000m silver medallist and now a U.S. citizen, realized her dream of making another Games as the 34-year-old took third in 2:28:52 as she edged out former Boston Marathon winner Des Linden (2:29:03).
(This story corrects fourth paragraph, Abdirahman was born in Somalia)
Reporting by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina, Additional reporting by Amy Tennery in Atlanta; editing by Tony Lawrence