NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 18 – World Record holder Eliud Kipchoge warmed up for his gold defence at the Tokyo Olympics Games with a victory at the NN Mission Marathon, clocking 2:04:30 in a race ran around the Twente Airport in Netherlands on Sunday.
The win saw Kipchoge bounce back to winning ways after surrendering his London marathon title in October last year.
Kipchoge won the special race that was also used as the Tokyo Olympics Games qualifiers, ahead of compatriot and training partner Jonathan Korir who timed 2:06:04 while Eritrean Goitom Kifle was third in 2:08:09.
2012 Olympics champion Ugandan Stephen Kiprotich was fifth in 2:09:08 also hitting the Tokyo Olympics qualifying mark.
A happy Kipchoge acknowledged that the win has boosted his morale to defend the title in the postponed Olympics.
“This is mission accomplished for me, I thank the race organisers for organizing this big race in less than10 days in the middle of the pandemic. I cannot complain about the windy weather conditions because all of us ran in the same conditions and in the same course,” Kipchoge said after the race.
He added, “This was the real test towards Tokyo Olympics, the plans are going on well, will go back to Kenya work with the technical team to ensure Team Kenya be strong in Tokyo,” Kipchoge assured.