Eliud Kipchoge remains the king of the marathon. His throne has never wavered. Without the Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele not qualified, the 2016 Olympic champion had practically only the time as a competitor. And the Kenyan appeared without pressure at the start, even allowing himself a few friendly pats with a Brazilian runner in the peloton, after a few kilometers intp the race.
A fatal acceleration with 10 km to go
Relaxed, the 36-year-old runner did not forget the objective: to keep his title of Olympic champion of the marathon. In the history of the Olympic Games, only the Ethiopian legend Abebe Bikila (1964, 1968) and the German Waldemar Cierpins (1976, 1980) had so far succeeded. With 10 kilometers to go, Eliud Kipchoge accelerated and dropped all his competitors. Even his two compatriots Lawrence Cherono and Amos Kipruto could not follow the pace set by the best athlete in the world (2018 and 2019) who ended up covering the 42 km in 2h08mn38s. Very far from his world record of the marathon 2h01min39s. But the essential was well elsewhere for him.
4th Olympic medal for Eliud Kipchoge
The Kenyan retains his title and wins his 4th Olympic medal. Before his marvellous conversion to the marathon, Eliud Kipchoge had, in fact, won a silver medal (2008) and another bronze (2012) in the 5000m. He has thus won a medal in 4 consecutive Olympics.
Unfortunately for the continent, the Kenyan runner is the only African on the podium of this marathon in Tokyo. His compatriot Lawrence Cherono (4th) was beaten in the sprint on the last meters by two runners born in Somalia: the Dutch Nageeye Abdi (2h09mn58s) and the Belgian Bachir Abdi (2h10mn00s).