Marathon King Kipchoge defends Olympic title

Marathon King Kipchoge defends Olympic title

Eliud Kipchoge successfully defended his Olympic title when he raced to victory in the men’s marathon clocking 2:08:38 as curtains came down on the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday morning.

Abdi Nageeye of the Netherlands was second in 2:09:58 with Bashir Abdi of Belgium taking bronze in 2:10:00

Kenya’s Lawrence Cherono was fourth in 2:10:02 while Amos Kipruto dropped out of the race with about five kilometres to go.

Kipchoge, the world marathon record holder becomes the third athlete to successfully defend an Olympic title in marathon as he retained the crown he won five years ago in Rio, Brazil

With the sweltering heat taking toll of the athletes who battled it out with temperatures hovering around 26 degrees Celcius and a 80 percent humidity.

The first casualty to drop from the race was the reigning London Marathon champion Shura Kitata who withdrew at the nine kilometre mark.

The Kenyan trio were among the leading pack who crossed the 10km mark in 30:53

At the halfway point, Kipchoge Still maintained his lead as athletes navigated the 21km mark in 1:05:13

Ethiopia suffered another setback when Sissa Lemma dropped out of the race in 23km mark leaving world champion Lelisa Desisa as the lone ranger.

Kenyans took control of the race when the trio surged forward at the 27km mark with Kipchoge leading as Kipruto and Cherono trailed closely.

After leading from the start, Kipchoge made the decisive move away from the pack at the 31km mark to compete against himself.

With Kipruto dropping out, the battle for silver and bronze narrowed to four athletes including Cherono, Ayad Lamsdassem of Spain, Abdi Negeeye of Netherlands and Belgian Bashir Abdi.