Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge won the men’s 42km marathon Olympic title on Sunday morning at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in Sapporo, Japan, becoming the first athlete since 1980 to retain the title.
Kipchoge who finished in two hours eight minutes 38 seconds says that the achievement means that he has fulfilled his legacy in the athletics field and now sets his sight on other ‘things.’
“I think I have fulfilled the legacy by winning the marathon for the second time, back-to-back. I hope now to help inspire the next generation,” Kipchoge, a world record holder told BBC Sport.
“Tokyo 2020 has happened, it means a lot. “It means there is hope. It means we are on the right track to a normal life. We are on the track to our normal lives, that is the meaning of the Olympics.”
“I am happy to defend my title and to show the next generation, if you respect the sport and be disciplined you can accomplish your assignment.”
Regarded as the greatest marathon runner of all time, the 36-year-old crossed the line one minute 20 seconds ahead of the Netherlands’ Abdi Nageeye.
In the race for bronze, Belgian Bashir Abdi edged out Kenyan Lawrence Cherono.
The Sunday triumph is Kipchoge’s fourth medal at the Olympics. His official marathon record is the 2:01:39 he ran in Berlin in 2018 – won 5,000m bronze in 2004 and silver in 2008, before claiming his first Olympic gold in Rio five years ago.
Kipchoge suffered his first marathon defeat in seven years in London last October, but he looked in control throughout the race in Sapporo, Japan, before moving well clear of the field after 30km.
Meanwhile, Uganda’s Stephen Kiprotich, 2012 London Olympics gold medalist withdrew from the race after close to 13km. His compatriots in Sunday’s 42km activity, Fred Musobo (2:18:39) and Filex Chemongesi (2:20:53) withstood the harsh weather conditions to complete the event.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics came to a close on Sunday with the men’s marathon. The next games will be held in 2024 in Paris.