Eliud Kipchoge defended his marathon gold medal with an imperious display on the streets of Tokyo.
The 36-year-old Kenyan pulled clear with 10 kilometres to go to finish a full 80 seconds ahead of the Netherland’s Abdi Nageeye, crossing the line in 2:08:38.
Kipchoge is now just the third man in history to win consecutive Olympic marathon titles, adding yet another record to a glittering career.
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As in the women’s marathon yesterday
the stifling Tokyo heat unsettled many athletes but the world record holder cantered home smiling and waving, seemingly capable of running it all over again.
There was drama in the sprint for the rest of the podium places however, as Nageeye and Belgium’s Bashir Abdi pipped Kipchoge’s compatriot Lawrence Cherono on the home straight.
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Having pulled ahead, Nageeye turned to wave Abdi on to bronze before the pair embraced Kipchoge.
Chris Thompson was Team GB's only athlete to finish, placing 54th with a time of 2:21:29, as Callum Hawkins and Ben Connor both dropped out during the race.
Hitting the first 5km checkpoint in just over 15 minutes, Colombia’s Jeison Alexander Suarez set the early pace.
The first in a string of heartbreaks came when Shura Kitata, winner of the London marathon last year, dropped out with an apparent strain just before 10km.
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With the morning Tokyo heat once again taking its toll on performances, the Ethiopian’s exit was swiftly followed by Uganda’s Stephen Kiprotich, a fellow winner of the London marathon in 2012.
Yet there was no sign of struggle from Kipchoge, who approached the 20km mark sharing a chat and a fist bump with Brazil’s Daniel Do Nascimento at the front.
At just 23 years old, Do Nascimento ran superbly before collapsing just after the halfway point.
The Brazilian picked himself up and continued but collapsed again on the pavement minutes later, medical officials attending to him immediately as he joined the list of DNFs.
A Kenyan trident now led the pack, Kipchoge at the tip of the arrow with Cherono and Amos Kipruto flanking.
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American Galen Rupp, bronze medallist in Rio, spearheaded the chasing pack but the Kenyan trio soon began to break away.
With 10km to go Kipchoge made his move, pushing on ahead of his compatriots and not looking back.
Incredibly the 31-year-old was increasing his pace, clocking 14:27 through the next 5km to stretch his lead to almost a minute.
Behind him, Kipruto pulled up, leaving Cherono to battle Abdi and Nageeye for the remaining two spots on the podium.
In a league of his own for so much of his career, it was fitting that Kipchoge cantered home without a rival in sight.
His coronation a formality from the moment he tore ahead of his compatriots, many would say it was so from the moment the race began.
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