Eliud Kipchoge’s race on Sunday could have happened a year ago, but the man tipped to come out tops hardly changed despite the lateness. Arguably the greatest marathoner in history, the Kenyan has made the race of the heart and lungs his home. He breathes to history as he waltzes past seas of reduced crowds, many of whom are astounded by his strength and character and his smile after victory is nothing but endearing.
Kipchoge’s races have always been his to lose and he proved to be the best once again, pulling away from his competition, and leaving himself chasing history, right in front of him.
He became just the third person in history to retain his Olympic marathon title and he did it in grand style, leading the rest of the pack by miles. The space, he said is the legacy he tried to set.
Proving Doubters Wrong
Even the best athletes get doubted after major failures and Kipchoge had a world of it to battle after an 8th place finish at the London Marathon. It was the beginning of the end, many thought, of his fantastic career but his latest achievement at the Olympics has extinguished such notions. It was long coming, however, as he raced to an impressive victory in April at the Netherlands.
On Sunday, he ran in 2:08:38 and now holds two of the top five fastest times in the history of Olympic marathons. Kipchoge sees this Olympic triumph as his greatest achievement yet, despite a career filled with many ups. For a man who has an Olympic gold, holds the world record and is the only one to cover the marathon in less than 2 hours, Kipchoge’s description of greatness has to be naturally respected and that gives his Olympic gold on Sunday greater value.
“It means a lot for me, especially at this time,” he told reporters on Sunday. He said 2020 was “really hard” especially after the postponement of the games.
Like his sport preaches, he also wants humans to endure more as the race towards a normal life gets better.
“It is a sign that shows the world we are heading in the right direction – we are on the right transition to a normal life,” he said.
It’s definitely not the last race on Kipchoge’s cards. He says there are more to come and he hopes to inspire the rest of the world through his story.
“The end of my career will come automatically that’s for sure, that’s in front of my mind, but for now I still want to compete more,” he said. “I still want to go around the world and run, inspire people.”
Kipchoge, who has been racing actively for 18 years has conquered every part of the world, from Africa to Europe, South America and now Asia. A Kenyan native to the core, living in Eldoret in the East African country, his race in time will be remembered as a great piece of history – one of endurance, longevity and great quality.
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