Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya, who already held the record for the fastest marathon ever run, broke his own record on Sunday morning in Tokyo to become only the third man in history to win the men’s marathon event at consecutive Olympic Games. Kipchoge, 36 years old, holds the world record for the marathon and the only sub-two-hour marathon time in history, both of which he achieved in an exhibition race that was not eligible for the world record.
Eliud Kipchoge Win
Soon before the 30-kilometer mark, Kipchoge struck a devastating blow to the competition. Kipchoge turned around to give space to runner Galen Rupp, the 2016 Olympic marathon bronze medallist and winner of the United States Olympic trials.
Although Rupp laughed, it was Kipchoge who had the last laugh when he broke away from the rest of the pack. Kipchoge had a 5K split of 14:28 from 30K to 35K, 27 seconds faster than the next best runner. A total of 67 seconds were lost by Rupp.
In addition to his two gold medals in the marathon at the 2008 and 2004 Olympics, Kipchoge also has a silver and a bronze medal in the 5,000 metre event.
Kipchoge completed the race in 2 minutes, 8 seconds. Rupp ran a total of 2 miles in 2 minutes, 11 seconds, and 41 seconds, good enough for eighth place. As a result of a blocked ear canal and subsequent cramping brought on by the cold and wet weather, Kipchoge finished seventh in the marathon last October for the first time in seven years, clocking in at 2:06:49.
It was reasonable for people to wonder if the end of the man whose slogan is “No human is restricted” was near when he began to look human and limited in comparison to his rivals.
Those doubts were put to rest in April, when his representatives used the NN Mission Marathon at Twente Airport in the Netherlands as a dress rehearsal and promotional opportunity for the next Olympics. He finished the race in a leisurely 2:04:30, about three minutes slower than his record-setting 2:01:39 from the 2018 Berlin Marathon. With his final ten kilometres of running alone, he left no question in Sapporo.
“There is the beginning of sport and there is the end of sport,” Kipchoge added. My retirement will be a natural progression of events. That’s still on my mind, but right now I’m focused on improving my competitive standing. I still hope to run with people all across the world and serve as an inspiration to many. It’s encouraging to watch other individuals, like football players my age, who are still fighting and achieving extremely well.