Eliud Kipchoge, a Kenyan track and field athlete in the Tokyo Olympics marathon won gold. He completed the 42.195 kilometre distance in 2 hours 8 minutes and 38 seconds
Kipchoge won the Olympics marathon. He is the third-ever double Olympic champion in this discipline. His two gold medals were won by Ethiopian Abebe Bikila in 1960 and 1964, and by Waldemar Zerpinski of the GDR in 1976 and 1980.
Biography of Eliud Kipchoge
Eliud Kipchoge was born in Kenya. He had a hard childhood. His mom was a teacher and he grew up with her. When he was 16, he met his future coach, Patrick Sang. He had won silver medals at the Olympics and two world championships before Eliud got there, but they became friends. Now Eliud trains with him again and is going to win gold medals!
The formidable Sang is also a countryman of his younger colleague, as he was born in the same village twenty years earlier. Kipchoge is married with three children and currently lives in Eldoret, western Kenya.
As he did two years ago, Kipchoge ran with 41 pacesetters. These people have the same job as pacers in a race: they make sure that Kipchoge can keep running at his best speed. The pacesetters were all the world’s strongest runners, including Swiss Julien Wanders, Australians Jack Rayner and Brett Robinson, and Norwegian runners the Ingebrigtsen brothers. They gave food and drinks to Kipchoge on bicycles so that he could run without having to stop or slow down for refreshments during a marathon like other people do.
The Vienna race is not part of the IAAF programme because it does not allow for a pacer and to have refreshments during the race. But this doesn’t mean that the event isn’t important. Kipchoge says he thinks it’s great because he set a new record for himself, even though his time will not be official.
In Berlin, you run and break a world record. In Vienna, you run and create history. It’s like the first man on the moon.
“Got off drugs, got hooked on running. Why do people run ultramarathons?”
To be able to finish an ultra-marathon in that time, a person has to go 1km in 2 minutes and 50 seconds. At the 2019 London Marathon there were no pacemakers who could keep up with Kipchoge’s pace.
“I’ll give you an example: in a garden there are flowers and there are weeds. When we talk about Vienna, we are talking about flowers. Let’s think about flowers and how they can make everyone in this world happier,” replied Kipchoge when asked if his historic accomplishment would help improve attitudes towards high performance sport following a string of high-profile doping scandals.