Kipchoge Captures Historic Second Marathon Gold, By Pierre Weil


The win by Eliud Kipchoge in Tokyo 2020/2021 was masterful. In the heat and humidity, Eliud Kipchoge charged away, never looking back, with 12 k to go. He did not just dominate the race, he destroyed his competitor's will to compete.

This piece, by Pierre Weil discusses Eliud Kipchoge, the zen master of the marathon.

Kipchoge Captures Historic Second Marathon Gold

By Pierre Weil

TOKYO, Japan -- Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya captured his second consecutive Olympic Marathon win Sunday, crossing the line with a big smile in an incredible time of 2 hours, 8 minutes, and 38 seconds, beating out the second-place finisher by 80 seconds.

"That smile is the happiness," said Kipchoge. "They say to enjoy this world is to be happy."

The 36-year-old Kipchoge became just the third man to ever win consecutive golds in the Marathon, and the first since Waldemar Cierpinski in 1976 and 1980. Kipchoge is also the world record holder in the marathon, and is the only person to ever run a marathon under 2 hours; although that time isn't his world record due to it not being held under race conditions.

Despite being the oldest to win an Olympic Marathon since Portugal's Carlos Lopes in 1984, age 37 at the time, Kipchoge feels good about his training, and his future.

"It's not rocket science, to be at the top for a long time," Kipchoge said. "I have what it deserves for me to actually stay long."

After Kipchoge made it clear the gold was his, the race to fill out the rest of the podium was on. That race was won by Abdi Nageeye of the Netherlands, who captured silver, and Bashir Abdi of Belgium, who secured the bronze. Nageeye clocked in at 2 hours, 9 minutes, and 58 seconds; while Abdi came in 2 hours, 10 minutes flat.

Nageeye and Abdi were running much of the final stretch with another Kenyan, Lawrence Cherono. Cherono was in second down the home stretch, but a surging Nageeye quite literally willed his training partner Abdi onto the podium with him.

"I waited for him to get close and see he was next to me and then I sprinted," Nageeye said. "He was able to follow me. It's amazing we can share this moment. It's crazy."

If there was ever any doubt about Kipchoge being the greatest marathon runner ever, that doubt will now surely be erased. As even his competitors understand, if he's in the race, it's a one-man competition.

"Kipchoge is Kipchoge -- no one can go at that pace," Abdi said.

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