Eliud KIpchoge warming up for 2022 Tokyo Marathon, photo by NN Running Team
Mondo Duplantis, photo by British Athletics Collection/ Getty Images
Fred Kerley, photo by Kevin Morris/ @kevmofoto
This is the fourth column of Deji’s Doodles, by Deji Ogeyinngbo. In these columns, Deji offers more details on athletic issues that happened in the previous week. Deji lives in Nigeria and provides us two columns a week, and we love his unique view on the global sport of athletics.
Kipchoge gave us another fantastic race to savor, Duplantis finally breaks his record after numerous attempts and Kerley dropped another outstanding season opener in the men’s 400m.
The Tokyo marathon once again proved that it’s one of the finest courses to run as Eluid Kipchoge came out on top, while in Belgrade, Mondo Duplantis finally hit 6.19m after trying for over 50 times, and finally, Fred Kerley opened his 400m season with yet another 44s run in Granada.
Eliud Kipchoge gets into the conversation of the Greatest of All-time athletes in all sports after his win in Tokyo.
Another day in the office, another mind-blowing performance from Eluid Kipchoge to win the Tokyo marathon. It’s described by running enthusiasts as the ultimate distance. 26.2 miles and Kipchoge has managed to make it a cakewalk in the last half a decade.
Eliud Kipchoge, tying racing shoes before 2022 Tokyo Marathon, photo by NN Running team
The Kenyan has found a way to transcend how we viewed the marathon. If you are the type to fancy the Olympics as the pinnacle for an athlete, Kipchoge has two gold medals in the bag. If you have a penchant for World Records, he holds the current record at 2:01:39 or if you are an advocate of running sub-two hours, the 37-year-Old has got that box checked too.
The Abbot marathon majors consist of six grueling races that Europe, Asia, and North America. Kipchoge has won a marathon on all the continents. His 2:02:40 winning time adds Tokyo to the other wins he had achieved in London, Chicago, and Berlin. New York and Boston beckon.
The World Championships are in Eugene in the summer, the New York marathon comes up in November while the Boston is in April of 2023. That’s one year to plan and strategize on how he wants to complete the set. With his relentless persona for greatness, you can’t bet against him not ticking them off his list.
At this point, it’s really hard to articulate just how great Kipchoge is. Outside of 2020 in London, Kipchoge’s been unbeatable for around eight years. His times are also astonishing. Any of his ten best races might be some other athlete’s career-defining performances.
At this stage, he certainly gets into the conversation of the Greatest Athlete of all time (G.O.A.T) in any sport. This status is up there with Lionel Messi winning seven Ballon D’or’s in soccer, Michael Jordan winning six rings in Basketball, and Tiger Woods winning 15 majors in Golf.
In all of these what makes Kipchoge so lovable is not necessarily his insane running ability. His charisma and respect for the sport is totally unmatchable. The world waits for the next record he has to break.
How much higher can Duplantis go?
Born to fly. That was Mondo Duplantis’ caption on Instagram after he finally nailed the elusive 6.19m mark that he has attempted over 50 times at the Belgrade Indoor Meeting – a World Indoor Tour Silver competition, one that ensured he broke his own record of 6.18 which he set in Glasgow in 2020.
The great Serhiy Bubka who redefined who we viewed Pole Vaulting pale in comparison to what Duplantis is achieving. Not since Renaud Lavillenie broke the world record in 2014 have we seen someone this dominant. Still, the French man suffered some losses. With Duplantis, he obliterates his opponents.
Mondo Duplantis, photo by British Athletics Collection/Getty Images
What we thought was going to be a rivalry between himself and US Sam Kendricks seemed to be a stroll in the park for Duplantis. So, how much higher can he go? 6.20m, 6.25m. With Duplantis, we never know. He’s just only 22, and the possibilities are limitless. He might just spring up something special at the World Indoor championships which coincidentally is in Belgrade, too.
Fred Kerley needs to decide early his events for the Worlds
What do they say about Jack of all trades? Something around the line of master of none. Well, for Fred Kerley, he seemed to have mastered all sprints and he’s flying at the moment. In Granada, he opened his season with the second-fastest 400m time recorded in the month of March after winning in 44.47.
The time speaks volumes of the sort of form Kerley is in, and at this rate, there is nothing stopping him from dropping a 43s over the quarter-mile. In theory, he is a favorite to get on the podium in the 100m, 200m, and 400m. Practically, not so much. The schedule of a major championship makes it impossible for him to think of gunning for all three.
It’s human nature to want to have it all, especially when you know you are capable of doing so. In reality, he needs to decide which races will catch his attention and speed up his training regime to become the undisputed best at it.
Fred Kerley, photo by Kevin Morris / @kevmofoto
Christian Coleman and Marcel Larmont Jacobs over the 100m, Noah Lyles and Andre De Grasse in the 200m, while Michael Cherry and Steven Gardiner are undoubtedly the top 2 in each of these events judging by last season’s form. The thing is, Kerley can take them on any given day if he picks at least two of the sprints to focus on.
It’s going to be a big call for him to make, as it has the potential to derail his season if he gets it wrong.