Eliud Kipchoge became the third man to successfully defend an Olympic marathon title on 8th August 2021 after successfully completing and winning the men’s Olympic Marathon in Tokyo. This comes after his world record of 2:01:39 in 2018 and running the first ever sub-two-marathon, in 2019 as part of the INEOS 1:59 Challenge.
Kipchoge has now won 13 of the 15 major marathons he’s entered since stepping up to the distance in 2013. This makes him one of the greatest sportsmen in history as attested to by his coach.
The marathon took place amid high temperature records leading to 30 out of the 106 that started the race to drop out. Some of the races were either postponed or moved to cooler locations.
Peres Jepchirchir also won Kenya a gold medal in the women’s race the day before. Faith Kipyegon Emmanuel Korir continued the lucky streak with an additional gold the day after. The United States of America is on the lead with 39 gold medals followed by China and Japan with 38 and 27 respectively.
The 36 year old champion took to his Twitter to celebrate the news with inspirational tweets, “The Olympic dream is a special dream. For every athlete here it has taken a lifetime of preparation to get to this point. Today I lived my Olympic dream. I always say that sport is like life, whereby you can win and lose. But today was a day where I won.
I can say I successfully defended my Olympic title. I want to share thanks to the people of Japan and the Olympic organization for an incredible job in making these Olympics happen. A running world is a happy world. #NoHumanIsLimited” he added.
The Olympics were scheduled to take place from July to 9 August 2020 but rescheduled to 2021 due to the pandemic.