Kipchoge to defend Olympic marathon title – if chosen

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NAIROBI (Information) – Eliud Kipchoge, the best marathon runner in historical past, the world document holder and solely man to go below two hours for the space, has advised Information he’ll defend his Olympic title in Tokyo subsequent yr – if chosen.

FILE PHOTO: Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge, the marathon world document holder, is seen amongst athletic lovers on the Karura forest in Nairobi, Kenya November 16, 2019. Information/Njeri Mwangi

It ought to be moderately secure to imagine, even making an allowance for the customarily chaotic and inexplicable choice procedures which have lengthy dogged Kenyan athletics, that Kipchoge might be given the prospect to run subsequent August.

“If chosen I might be there.” he advised Information in an unique interview in Nairobi on Tuesday. “It (Tokyo) is on the entrance of my thoughts, and I belief and consider that when the time comes I might be on the beginning line.”

That line will now be within the northern metropolis of Sapporo, the place the marathons and strolling occasions have been moved by the Worldwide Olympic Committee (IOC) in a bid to keep away from the worst of the debilitating warmth and humidity of the Tokyo space.

However Kipchoge, as ever, was cautious to not voice a powerful opinion on the problem.

“I feel the medals are the identical,” he mentioned. “I might be among the many opponents, I don’t complain, I’m within the fingers of the IOC and wherever they resolve, I’ll go together with it.”

That might be music to the ears of the organizers, particularly in marathon-mad Japan, the place the 35-year-old might be handled to the kind of adulation final seen when sprinter Usain Bolt was sweeping all earlier than him.

Kipchoge has received 11 of his 12 official marathons, together with the 2016 Rio Olympics, and with the world document and the sub-two hour mark below his belt, together with a string of profitable big-city races he’s a colossus of his sport.

Nonetheless, there are a rising variety of critics who, whereas accepting his extraordinary expertise, say that his and others’ record-breaking occasions ought to be handled with a grain of salt, such is the profit obtainable from the newest trainers.

Kipchoge turned the primary man to run a marathon below two hours in October and in addition set the official world document for the space of two:01.39 in Berlin final yr – each performances helped by controversial prototypes of his Nike footwear.

The footwear have carbon-fibre plates and a thicker midsole that the producers declare enhance operating economic system by four% or 5%.

Varied variations of them have been worn by most of the main distance runners in recent times, together with Kipchoge’s compatriot Brigid Kosgei, who smashed the 16-year-old girls’s marathon document by 81 seconds a day after Kipchoge cruised to his exceptional, pacer-aided 1:59.40 in Vienna.

This has led to requires restrictions on the manufacturing means of the footwear, however Kipchoge is towards the thought. “This world is stuffed with growth and growth comes with know-how,” he mentioned.

“I belief that even within the shoe sector, know-how ought to be there. It’s not an enormous (benefit), it’s not a rocket science with the footwear…The shoe truly helps a runner to recuperate very quick, particularly after the marathon.

“All in all, it’s a traditional shoe – it’s the human being that runs.”

Reporting by Omar Mohammed and Edwin Waita; Extra reporting by Isaak Omulo and Mitch Phillips; Enhancing by Hugh Lawson