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Tiki Gelana wins Olympic marathon

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff  August 5, 2012 08:20 AM

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Tiki Gelana set an Olympic record in the women's marathon. Shalane Flanagan (below right) and Kara Goucher were the top Americans. (Associated Press photos)

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Tiki Gelana of Ethiopia won the women's marathon at the Olympics on Sunday in London and set an Olympic record with her time of 2 hours, 23.07 minutes.

In a dramatic finish in front of Buckingham Palace, Gelana held off Priscah Jeptoo of Kenya. Gelana glanced behind her several times in the finishing stretch to check on Jeptoo, but broke the tape .05 seconds ahead.

Tatyana Petrova Arkhipova of Russia was third. Shalane Flanagan of Marblehead, Mass., was the top American with her 10th place finish in 2:25.51. American Kara Goucher was 11th.

“I wanted to find out what I was capable of," Flanagan said. "We set these really big goals and we may or not hit them, but if I was hitting all my goals it would mean I’m not setting them high enough. I’m just going for it when I can.”

The course wound past several London landmarks, and included many turns.

“The turns and the ups and downs were really, really hard,” Flanagan said.

“I don’t think Kara and I have dedicated ourselves more to anything in our life than for this race. It’s a little heartbreaking because I feel like there’s still more in us. We knew this course was going to be hard, but it beat us up for sure,” Flanagan said.

Shira Springer contributed to this report.

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