Kenya’s day in the sun:Eliud Kipchoge, Brigid Kosgei Smash Course Records In Tokyo Marathon

Kenya’s day in the sun:Eliud Kipchoge, Brigid Kosgei Smash Course Records In Tokyo Marathon

BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,6TH MARCH,2022-Marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge smashed the Tokyo Marathon course record when he ran the fastest ever marathon on Japanese soil Sunday morning.

Kipchoge began his quest to win all the six World Marathon Majors (WMM) with a stop at the Japanese capital where he was making his return barely seven months after bagging his second Olympic title.

Kipchoge clocked 2:02:40 to smash the previous course record of 2:03:58 set by compatriot Wilson Kipsang in 2017.

The Tokyo Marathon was making a return after last year’s event was postponed due to Covid-19 challenges and Kipchoge made a statement of intent as he led from the gun.

Kipchoge crossed the half way mark in 1:01:03 at that point being trailed by compatriot Amos Kipruto and Ethiopia’s Tamirat Tola.

At the 27km mark, Tola the reigning Valencia Marathon champion dropped off making the race a Kenyan affair as Kipchoge and Kipruto battled for the top honours.

Kipchoge would however make the decisive move with just six kilometres to go to seal his fourth WMM title.

The New York City Marathon and Boston Marathon are the only remaining races at the WMM series that Kipchoge is yet to compete in.

“I am so proud to win in the streets of Tokyo, where the people have running in their hearts and minds. It’s great to now have won 4 out of the 6 Abbott World Marathon Major races. Finally, I want to say I want this world to unite. My win today is to bring positivity in this world,” said an elated Kipchoge.

Kipruto, the world bronze medallist, settled for second in a new personal best of 2:03:13 where he erased 17 seconds off his previous mark. Tamirat Tola of Ethiopia placed third.

It was almost a similar script in the women’s race as world record holder Brigid Kosgei ran the fastest women’s marathon ever in the Japanese soil when she clocked an impressive 2:16:02

Kosgei who clinched silver at the Tokyo Games obliterated the previous course record of 2:17:45 held by Kenyan born Kenya-born Lonah Chemtai Salpeter of Israel.

The 2019 Berlin Marathon champion Ashete Bekere (2:17:58) and the reigning Berlin Marathon champion Gotyom Gebreslase (2:18:18) finished second and third respectively.

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