Olympics: Kenyan Athlete Eliud Kipchoge Defends Men’s Marathon Title
About 30 kilometres into the men’s marathon event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in Japan on Sunday, Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge pulled away from the pack, winning the race in time of 2:08:38. He now holds two of the top five fastest times ever posted in Olympic marathons.
Kipchoge, 36, looked like a man determined to run towards his legacy of greatness. He took a peek behind him at one point and there was no one there. He was all alone – the greatest marathon runner in history and one of the greatest Olympians.
The Kenyan become only the third person ever to retain their Olympic marathon title, and cement his legacy.
“I wanted to create a space to show the world that this is a beautiful race,” Kipchoge said after winning gold. “I have fulfilled the legacy by winning the marathon for the second time, back-to-back. I hope now to help inspire the next generation.”
Doubts crept in about his ability to retain the Olympic title he won five years ago in Rio de Janeiro, after he suffered a rare defeat in October’s London marathon.
Kipchoge had previously won 10 straight races and his eighth place finish sparked rumblings that he may have started to fade. He allayed those concerns after a win in the Netherlands in April. After his victory In Tokyo, in what could be his last Olympic Games, any questions about his abilities were put to rest.
Kipchoge said last month that winning this gold medal would be his greatest achievement, a big statement for an athlete who already has an Olympic gold, holds the world record and is the only man to have ever run the marathon in under two hours.
“Today I lived my Olympic dream,” Kipchoge added. “I always say that sport is like life, whereby you can win and lose. But today was a day where I won and get to say I successfully defended my Olympic title.”