Extreme heat and humidity up to 80%. Eliud Kipchoge had no problem with that at the Olympic marathon at Odori Park in Sapporo. The world record holder ran hard and in 2:08:38 hours until the next victory. After Abebe Bikila of Ethiopia (1960, 1964) and Waldemar Cierpinski of Germany (1976, 1980) the world record holder became only the third marathon runner to become an Olympic champion twice in a row.
“We were all in the same pan,” said Kipchoge, who didn’t complain about the circumstances. For the hostile state in East Africa, “business as usual.” The day before, Kapsapet’s Beris Gepchercher also won the women’s class with a time of 2:27:20 ahead of another Kenyan, world record holder Brigid Kosgei of Eldoret (2:27:36).
After finishing work, Kipchoge said: “I think I fulfilled my legacy with a second win in a row. I hope this helps inspire the next generation.”
The top runners started fast, in the half marathon with a running time of 1:05:13 the leading group was still 31 men. In the extra track it quickly became smaller, after 30 kilometers, Kipchoge broke away from the last of his opponents and achieved superlative success. Another great feat after the world record (2:01:39h 2018 in Berlin) and breaking the two-hour sound barrier in Vienna in October 2019 in the specially organized race (1:59:40h).
The Austrian duo played no part in the top spot yesterday. Austrian Peter Herzog finished 61st with a time of 2:22:15, and an old injury came into play again at Lemawork Ketema, and he gave up in pain. Herzog said that time was not what he was capable of, but that it had been a very difficult journey. “It went so early, so hard, I noticed as early as ten kilometers it would be a long time to get to the finish line. It was the longest ordeal I’ve ever had on a sporting level. Overall, I’m satisfied, even if it’s a long way away. What can I do.”
thigh did not share
A total of 30 runners did not finish the race. Kitima was also one of those not categorized: “An old injury to the posterior thigh hurt itself again, and health comes first,” said Richard Hoogler, MD, an OLV hospital physician.
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