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Victor Kiplangat of Uganda celebrates winning the gold medal in the men's marathon at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England. Image Credit: AP

Birmingham: Victor Kiplangat produced an impressive performance to give Uganda their first-ever Commonwealth Games marathon gold in Birmingham today.

The 22-year-old timed 2hr 10min 55sec, coming home with a broad grin on his face more than a minute and a half clear of Tanzania’s 2017 world bronze medallist Alphonce Felix Simbu.

Kiplangat took a wrong turn but still found his way to marathon gold. After more than 40 kilometres of running he veered off course in the late stages but had built up such a commanding lead that the miscue did not cause any damage.

A delighted Michael Githae of Kenya wiggled his finger with a big smile at the spectators in the finishing straight as he took the bronze, more than two minutes behind the winner.

Valiant effort

Long-time pacesetter Luke Adams of Australia made a valiant effort at trying to give his country their third successive win in the event but had to settle for fourth.

The medallists, draped in their respective national flags, delighted the crowd gathered at the finish in central Birmingham by going over and chatting to them.

The women’s race was in its early stages with 41-year-old defending champion Helalia Johannes of Namibia confident she can win again.

Johannes is not the oldest runner in the small but select field as Australia’s Sinead Diver is 45, the oldest competitor in the athletics at the Games.