New Zealand’s two runners in the Olympic marathon struggled to cope with the heat and high humidity during the race in Sapporo today.
Zane Robertson, an accomplished track athlete, finished 36th in 2h 17.04s and Malcolm Hicks was 64th in 2h 23min 12s.
The race was won by 2016 gold medallist Ellud Kipchoge of Kenya in 2h 08min 38s from Abdi Nageeye of the Netherlands and Bashir Abdi of Belgium.
Robertson, who lives in Ethiopia, collapsed on the finish line was immediately attended to by medical staff. Happily he was up and walking about soon afterwards.
The 31-year-old New Zealander was well up with the leaders for a good portion of the race, but was unable to go with Kipchoge and the other frontrunners when they increased the pace and gradually slipped back through the field.
Hicks, 33 limped across the line. He lost touch with the leaders early on and was running to finish after that.
There were 106 starters and 76 runners completed the race.
Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games