Rupp wins US marathon trials to secure Tokyo ticket

Galen Rupp reacts after winning the US marathon trials to book his place at the Tokyo Olympics (AFP Photo/Kevin C. Cox)
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New York (AFP) - Galen Rupp stormed to victory at the United States marathon trials on Saturday to book his fourth consecutive ticket to the Olympic Games.

The 33-year-old distance runner, the protege of banned coach Alberto Salazar, powered home in 2hr 9min 20sec in blustery conditions in Atlanta, Georgia.

Jacob Riley claimed second place 2:10:02 while the 43-year-old Abdi Abdirahman took third to qualify for Tokyo.

The Somalia-born Abdirahman will be competing in his fifth Olympics after first competing in the 10,000m at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

Rupp, a marathon bronze medallist at the 2016 Olympics and a silver medallist in the 10,000m at the 2012 Games in London, has been troubled by Achilles and foot injuries in recent seasons.

He underwent surgery in 2018 and last year suffered a blow when long-time coach Salazar was given a four-year ban by the United States Anti-Doping Agency for doping offenses.

Rupp, who is now coached by Mike Smith, has never failed a doping test and has repeatedly denied using performance-enhancing drugs.

In the women's race on Saturday, the Kenya-born Aliphine Tuliamuk won in 2:27:23 ahead of Molly Seidel, who was competing in a marathon for the first time.

Sally Kipyego, who won a silver medal for Kenya in the 10,000m at the 2012 Olympics, claimed the third spot.

Tuliamuk, Seidel and Kipyego's 1-2-3 finish upset the form book, with 2018 Boston Marathon winner Des Linden, US 10,000m record holder Molly Huddle and Jordan Hasay all missing out.

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