– Reigning Olympic champion showed London was merely a malfunction as he surged clear with 10km to go to clock 2:04:30
– World men’s marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge put in a dominant performance to win the Mission Marathon in Enschede, Holland.
ENSCHEDE – The reigning Olympic marathon champion and sub-two-hour man bounced back from his shock defeat in London last October to take victory in the NN Mission Marathon in Enschede – Holland in 2:04:30.
The Kenyan hero had Jonathan Korir and pacemaker Philemon Kacheran for company at 30km.
But minutes later, Kipchoge made his move and eased clear of Korir on his way to an emphatic victory on the special looped course at Twente Airport. Kipchoge finished the 42km race run in 2:04:29 to underline his intentions of defending the Olympics title in Tokyo – Japan in August.
The Holland race was Kipchoge’s last marathon before he travels to the Olympics – Tokyo 2020 to defend his title on August 8.
“Mission marathon is mission accomplished, the conditions were good a bit windy but I have no complains we all run in the same conditions and the race was perfect,” said Kipchoge after the marathon.
“The marathon was the real test towards Tokyo and it was good to have happened before the Olympics, I’m going back to Kenya and see how my training will become,” he added.
At the same race, Kenya’s Korir clocked 2:06.40 to finish behind Kipchoge while Eritrea’s Goitom Kifle finished third 2:08.27.
The marathon was an elite-only affair with around 70 invited athletes trying to achieve Olympic qualification times and complete their preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games – which show is three months away.
All the men’s top 15 finishers achieved the Olympic qualification mark.
The race was originally scheduled for in Hamburg – Germany on April 11, on a closed loop circuit, but due to Covid-19 restrictions, authorities declined to sanction it, late March.
It should be remembered that Kipchoge, 36, ran the world’s first sub-two-hour marathon at an unofficial event in Vienna in 2019.
On 12 October, Kipchoge started his historical run at 8:15 a.m. The Kenyan was accompanied by a squad of constantly changing pacesetters. After every approximately four kilometres these 41 top runners – who had won a total of 50 medals at the Olympics, World Championships and European Championships – were replaced.
The goal was to make Kipchoge run at a speed of more than 21 km/h continuously. An average time of 2:50 minutes per kilometre was the target, and the Kenyan and his teammates held the pace up like clockwork. An escort vehicle drove in front of the runners and shot a pace-setting laser beam onto the track.
Kipchoge ran – protected from the wind – in the midst of his pacemakers. Only for the last 300 meters he was alone on the track. With an unofficial running-in time of 1:59:40 hours, he beat the target by an incredible 20 seconds.
It’s estimated the 2019 Ineos Challenge held in Vienna cost organisers more than Euros 15million (about Ugx65 billion) with Kipchoge pocketing Euro two million in cash prize.