Britain’s Freya Murray and Claire Hallissey were left as team GB’s only competitors as team-mate Mara Yamaouchi dropped out through injury.
In the 26.2 mile race, that began and ended on The Mall, Murray finished a creditable 44th in only her secong marathon in a time of 2:,32.14 with Hallissey clocking 2:35.39 and 57th place.
The race was won in an Olympic record time by Ethiopia’s Tiki Gelana, with world silver medallist Priscah Jeptoo again settling for second.
Yamauchi, who finished sixth in Beijing, dropped out shortly before the 10 kilometres mark after struggling with a heel injury.
A teary Yamaouchi said: “I had a heel bruise, which I was able to run on and I was managing it – it wasn’t the best situation to be doing the Olympic marathon with.
“But I was more than confident I could give it a good go. I started off but on about the second corner it started hurting.
Murray, a late call-up to replace the injured Paula Radcliffe, said the race was “a big learning experience” in her first major championship.
“It’s not the nicest way to be selected and I would not wish injury or illness on anyone,” she added, “but Paula is an inspiration to everybody so it was sad to be trying to fill her shoes.”
And Hallissey said the wet conditions – and cobbles – made it tough for her to compete. “I’m feeling a bit tired but I enjoyed it, the atmosphere was amazing. I’m happy with how it went.”
The Women’s Sports Magazine