On Sunday morning in Tokyo, Kenya’s world record holder Eliud Kipchoge won his second consecutive men’s Olympic marathon gold medal, joining only two other men in Olympic history to accomplish this feat. Kipchoge, now 36 years old, set the world record and ran the only marathon under two hours in history during an exhibition race that was not qualifying for the world record.
Career of Eliud Kipchoge
Just before the 30-kilometer mark, Kipchoge dealt a devastating blow to the competition. Kipchoge turned back to give space to the runner on his heels, Galen Rupp, who was the champion of the United States Olympic trials and the bronze medalist in the 2016 Olympic marathon.
Kipchoge laughed at Rupp’s joke, but Kipchoge ended up having the last laugh when he broke away from the rest of the field. After 30 kilometres, Kipchoge shaved 14 seconds off his 5K split to finish in 35 minutes, leaving the next best runners 27 seconds behind. A total of 67 seconds were lost by Rupp.
Kipchoge also has a silver and bronze from the 5,000-meter events at the 2008 and 2004 Olympics to go along with his two gold medals in the marathon.
The current holder of the world record in the 5,000-meter event has won four Olympic medals in total, including silver in 2008 and bronze in 2004.
Kipchoge proved why he was the favourite to win Sunday’s race by pulling away from the rest of the field after the first 30 kilometres.
After being in a virtual tie with the other competitor for the first 5 kilometres of the race, he broke away to take a 27-second lead at the 35-kilometer mark and a 1-minute, 17-second lead at the 40-kilometer mark.
Kipchoge crossed the finish line in two hours, eight minutes, and thirty-eight seconds, displaying two fingers as he did so.
At the end of the race, which began with temperatures at 31 degrees and humidity at 74%, just 29 of the 106 starters had completed it. Among those who did not complete it was Australian Jack Rayner.
With a time of 2:15:51, Liam Adams finished in 24th place, and Brett Robinson came in at 66th with a time of 2:24:04.
At the closing ceremony in Tokyo, both the men’s and women’s marathon medals were awarded. World Athletics President Lord Sebastian Coe delivered the flowers to the women and men who won medals, while IOC President Thomas Bach and IOC member Ms. Anita DeFrantz presented the medals.
With seven gold, twelve silver, and seven bronze, the United States dominated the athletics medal count. Italy, who surprised everyone by finishing second, won five gold medals. Kenya finished in third place with a record of 4-4-2.
China won a total of seven medals, including two gold, two silver, and one bronze, placing it seventh among Asian nations. Gold medals went to India and Qatar, silver to Bahrain, bronze to Japan (the hosts), and bronze to India.