Olympian Champions Kipchoge, Kosgei Win Tokyo Marathon

World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge has won the men’s category in the Tokyo marathon on Sunday. Kipchoge however fell short of breaking his own record as he crossed the finish line in 2:02:40.

The Kenyan double Olympic champion pulled away from countryman Amos Kipruto at around the 35km mark but was unable to beat the 2:01.39 he clocked at the 2018 Berlin marathon.

The 37-year-old was not helped by a wrong turn by the leading pack after about 10 kilometres, which cost the runners around 10 seconds and upset their rhythm as they doubled back on themselves.

Kipchoge defended his 2016 Rio Olympics marathon title at the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Games in Sapporo last year.

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“I’m really happy. I’m excited again to be in Japan, especially after winning the Olympic Games last year in Sapporo,” he said.

“I really, really, really appreciate the crowd. I think the Japanese are really helpful. That’s why I say in the press that I run strong in Japan.”

Kipruto finished second in 2:03.13.

Another world record holder, Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei won the women’s race in 2:16.02, shattering Israel’s Lonah Chemtai Salpeter’s time of 2:17:45.

Ashete Bekere of Ethiopia was 2nd in 2:17:58, and Gotytom Gebreslase of Ethiopia 3rd in 2:18:18.

Having dominated their races– setting the fastest times ever ran on Japan soil, President Uhuru Kenyatta congratulated both marathoners Kipchoge and Kosgei for their sterling performance in their respective races at the Tokyo Marathon 2021.

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Kipchoge was making his Tokyo debut in one of the six major marathons alongside New York, Berlin, Chicago, London and Boston.

He has already won in London, Chicago and Berlin and it is one of his career objectives to land all six.

Kipchoge said in January that he would be seeking to make it a record-breaking three consecutive Olympic titles at Paris 2024.

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