Olympic Marathon champion and World Record holder Eliud Kipchoge in action during the NN Mission Marathon in Enschede, the Netherlands on Sunday, April 18, 2021. [Standard Sports]

 

Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge, the Olympic marathon champion and world record holder, sent a warning to his rivals ahead of this year’s Tokyo Olympics by cruising to victory in the NN Mission Marathon in Enschede, the Netherlands on Sunday.

This was Kipchoge’s last marathon before he defends his Olympic title at Tokyo 2020 on 8 August.

In his first outing since a shock defeat at October’s London marathon, where he came in at eighth place, Kipchoge finished the marathon at Twente Airport with a time of two hours and 04.30 minutes to reaffirm his status as the hot favourite for the Olympic race in Sapporo in August.

Jonathan Korir of Kenya was second with a personal best of 2:06.40.

 

April 18, 2021 Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge celebrates winning the men’s race Pool via REUTERS

The race was originally scheduled to take place on April 11 in Hamburg but was postponed over COVID-19 restrictions, forcing the organisers to look for an alternative location.

The event, closed to the public, featured more than 50 elite athletes from at least 20 countries.

Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture and Heritage, Amb. Amina Mohamed and Baringo senator and KANU chairman Gideon Moi were among the first leaders to take to social media to congratulate Kipchonge for winning the marathon.

“Truly proud of @EliudKipchoge for setting the Athletic bar so high and for bouncing back into the arena with such Grace, Courage and Brilliance. As we watch him complete the final kilometre, the Kenyan spirit of resilience reverberates,” Amina tweeted.

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader Raila Odinga have also come out to celebrate Eliud Kipchoge’s win.

More to follow…

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