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American Galen Rupp wins bronze in men’s marathon — in only his second marathon ever

Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya and Galen Rupp of the United States compete during the men’s marathon. (Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya may have won the Olympic men’s marathon with a time of 2:08:44 seconds, but American Galen Rupp finished third in the race through Rio de Janeiro on Sunday morning, claiming America’s first medal in the event since a silver in 2004 in Athens.

Rupp, a 30-year-old runner from Portland, Ore., was competing in only his second marathon. Rupp won a silver medal in the 10,000 meters in the London 2012 Games and finished fifth in the 10,000 in Rio last week.

After his bronze medal, Rupp noted that he might have found a new favorite event.

“My training has gone great for the marathon. I was watching ‘Happy Gilmore’ the other day, and you know he fights being a golfer for a while, saying he’s a hockey player, and I fought being a marathoner and wanted to be on the track,” he told NBC. “Maybe this is my best event.”

Feyisa Lilesa of Ethiopia finished second.