Kipchoge cements his credentials as best marathon runner after retaining title in Tokyo

Monday, August 9th, 2021 00:00 |
Eliud Kipchoge celebrates after winning the men’s marathon final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Sapporo on August 8, 2021. Photo/AFP

World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge successfully defended his Olympic title on the final day of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Games yesterday morning.

Kipchoge became the third athlete to successfully defend an Olympic title in marathon as he retained the crown he won five years ago in Rio, Brazil.

By clocking 2:08.38, he recorded the biggest ever winning margin of  one minute and 20 seconds since Frank Shorter’s win in the 1972 Munich Games.

Somali born Abdi Nageeye of the Netherlands was second in 2:09:58 with Bashir Abdi of Belgium taking bronze in 2:10:00, in the most unsportsmanlike manner of the Games.

Nageeye publicly gestured to Abdi to overtake Cherono who seemed unaware of what was happening with 50m to the finish line.

 Cherono was fourth in 2:10:02 missing a medal in his debut Olympics while Amos Kipruto dropped out of the race with about five kilometres to go.

The Kenyan trio were among the leading pack who crossed the 10km mark in 30:53

Kenyans took control of the race when the trio surged forward at the 27km mark with Kipchoge leading as Kipruto and Cherono trailed closely.

After leading from the start, Kipchoge made the decisive move away from the pack at the 31km mark to compete against himself.

With the sweltering heat taking toll of the athletes who battled it out with temperatures hovering around 26 degrees Celsius and a 80 percent humidity.

The first casualty to drop from the race was the reigning London Marathon champion Shura Kitata who withdrew at the 9km mark.

At the halfway point, Kipchoge Still maintained his lead as athletes navigated the 21km mark in 1:05:13

Ethiopia suffered another setback when Sissa Lemma dropped out of the race at the 23km mark leaving world champion Lelisa Desisa as the lone ranger.

With Kipruto dropping out, the battle for silver and bronze narrowed to four athletes including Cherono, Ayad Lamsdassem of Spain, Abdi Negeeye of Netherlands and Belgian Bashir Abdi.

1.7 per game.

Among those leaders Mali will look to for goals is Moussa Marega, whose six for Porto in the last Champions League was bettered only by Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski.                                                                                              -AFP

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