Kipchoge ready to defend his title in Japan

The defending Olympic marathon champion and world record holder Eliud Kipchoge is optimistic he will perform well as the clock ticked down to the much awaited event scheduled for Sunday.

Kipchoge, who is the first person to run the distance under two hours in an unofficial race, is one the top draws for the ongoing Olympic Games in Japan.

“I am very excited to be here in the Olympic village in Japan. It is great that we are able to run the Olympic marathon in these unusual times. On Sunday, I will try to defend my Olympic marathon title from Rio de Janeiro. I cannot wait to witness a wonderful event. Niko tayari.” he said

If he successfully defends his Olympic marathon title, he would become only the third runner to have achieved this, further cementing his place among the all-time greats.

The 36-year old holds the world record with a time of 2:01:39 set in Berlin in 2018 and became the only man to break the two-hour barrier at an unofficial race in 2019.

He said last month that he still has the hunger for competing and that winning gold in Tokyo could be his greatest achievement

“I am still hungry for running in the Olympic Games and winning a gold medal, so I still feel fresh every time I wake up.

“Actually if I win a gold medal this will be the highest,” in terms of achievement, Kipchoge said, having won gold in Rio in 2016.” added Kipchoge.

If successful, Kipchoge would join Ethiopia’s Abebe Bikila (1960 and 1964) and East Germany’s Waldemar Cierpinski (1976 and 1980) as the only runners to win two consecutive gold medals on the Olympic stage.

The marathon events will take place in Sapporo, on the northern island of Hokkaido, starting with the women’s race on Saturday.


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