Ethiopia’s Tiki Gelana won gold in the London 2012 women’s marathon in an Olympic record time of two hours, 23 minutes and seven seconds.
Kenya’s Priscah Jeptoo claimed silver, five seconds behind, while Russia’s Tatyana Petrova Arkhipova took bronze.
Freya Murray, a late replacement for injured Paula Radcliffe, was the best placed Briton, 9:07 back in 44th place.
Team-mate Claire Hallissey was more than 12 minutes behind in 57th, while Mara Yamauchi quit just before 10km.
In winning on The Mall, 24-year-old Gelana took seven seconds off the previous Olympic record as she sprinted to victory ahead of Jeptoo.
Petrova set a personal best of 2:23:29, while Kenya’s Mary Keitany, winner of the London marathon this year, had to settle for fourth after being dropped by the leading pack in the final stages.
I’m not sure many people would have tipped Gelana,” said BBC commentator and former Olympic 1500m silver medallist Steve Cram.
“She wasn’t quite unknown, but to run in such a way was impressive. She looked really relaxed until the last 200m-300m, when she strained to reach the finish line.”
Once again, the Kenyans have had to play second fiddle to the Ethiopians, who were dancing with joy at the end.”