ELDORET, April 27 – He clutched his hand onto his head a few meters to the finish line at the London Marathon last Sunday when he raised his eyes to look at the clock.
Eliud Kipchoge was only eight seconds shy of Dennis Kimetto’s world record time of 2:02:57 set in Berlin in 2014 as he ran the men’s marathon world’s second fastest time ever in 2:03:05.
With a more spirited sprint in the final bend, Kipchoge would have laid an assault at the record, but the former track star does not harbour any regrets for failing to punch the pace instead saying he was content with the top spot finish and course record.
“I do not at all regret missing those seconds. What was more important to me was the win and it means a lot for me. I had worked so hard in training heading into the race, I was well prepared. I knew I would meet a tough pool of athletes and I had to be at my best,” said Kipchoge who has only lost one marathon race in his career.
Kipchoge though believes it will only be a matter of time before the record tumbles and he might be the first man to run a marathon under two hours and three minutes.
“It is achievable, that is something I believe. With good planning, good preparations and a fast block of athletes, that record can come under threat. Maybe soon I can think of it,” Kipchoge added.
The experienced road race master became the first man to win the London Marathon titles back-to-back since compatriot Martin Lel in 2008. He also has Hamburg, Rotterdam and Chicago titles on his neck but his biggest dream is an Olympic gold.
Kipchoge is still keeping his cards close to his chest as far as the Olympics in Rio are concerned.
“At the moment, I want to relax a bit, get my energy back and then focus on what is ahead. I don’t know who the selectors will pick so I am only waiting and hoping,” Kipchoge noted.
Kipchoge will be seeking a third appearance at the Olympics with his two other appearances being on track. In Athens 2004, he won bronze in the 5000m before stepping up to a silver finish in Beijing 2008. His attempt for a place in the London 2012 team was futile as he finished seventh in the Kenyan trials before deciding to switch to road running.
With the good form he is enjoying, Kipchoge might headline a strong Kenyan team headed for Rio de Janeiro but still he will have three more races to choose from before the end of the year including the only marathon he has ever lost, Berlin which comes towards the end of September.