Rio marathon king Kipchoge not eyeing world record


Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge celebrates after winning the Men's Marathon athletics event of the Rio 2016 Olympic ...
Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge celebrates after winning the Men's Marathon athletics event of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Sambodromo in Rio de Janeiro on August 21, 2016. OLIVIER MORIN / AFP

Olympics marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge has described his step-up from track running to the roads as his best ever career decision.

While he insists the move was always a part of his progression, missing the 2012 London Olympics team in both 5000m and 10000m spurred him to make an early switch to the marathon.

“It always means a lot to me to represent my country in whichever competition but for this transition, I can only thank God. My latest gold medal means a lot to my life and to my athletics career.

“The love of sport has always propelled me to do better right from the time I start my training to the time I show up for competition,” the two-time London and Berlin marathon winner told Citizen Digital.

He was speaking on Friday during the launch of the 10th edition of the Family Bank Half Marathon that will run on October 9 in Eldoret in Nairobi where he disclosed he will take a break after his exertions in Rio where he finally landed the elusive Olympics gold.

The 31 year-old who made history earlier in April in the streets of the British capital by running the second fastest marathon of all time (2:03:04) and smashing the course record en route to claiming back-to-back London Marathon titles added that he has not set sights on going for 2014 Berlin Marathon champion, Dennis Kimetto’s world record of 2:02:57.

“I do not know the marathon schedule for this year or the next. I missed the world record by just seven seconds but in sport, there are never any regrets. At the time, I was really happy with my performance and the beauty of it is the fact that I am the second fastest man,” he stressed.

Shifting to the most glorious moment in his career after winning 5000m bronze and silver at the 2004 and 2008 editions in Athens and Beijing, Kipchoge said what was on his mind in the latter stages of his epic Olympics marathon victory in the looped course of Brazil.

He appeared to be motioning Ethiopian silver medallist, Feyisa Lilesa, to take the lead and pull away in the closing two kilometres with a wave before he showed his rival a clean pair of heels to breast the tape unchallenged in 2:08:44.

“I wasn’t trying to mock him or trying to let him run past me. I wanted him to have a good race by encouraging him to stay close to me,” he explained a moment that was replayed across the world on loop after he became the second Kenyan winner of Olympics marathon gold after the late Samuel Kamau Wanjiru who set the 2:06:32 record in Beijing.

Kipchoge, who will be among the guests at the Family Bank Half and urged upcoming athletes to embrace the sport and remain disciplined in their pursuit for success.

Switching to the roads proved to be a masterstroke for the 2003 IAAF World Championships men 5000m winner after he made an impressive half marathon debut in September, 2012 in Lille, running 59:25.

Kipchoge then made his ultimate distance bow at the 2013 Hamburg Marathon, where he ran a majestic race and to clinch the title and in the process setting a new course record of 2:05:30.

He then ran his second in Berlin where he caught the bouquet to compatriot Wilson Kipsang’s 2:03:23 world record where he crossed the line in 2:04:05 in the only marathon he has lost thus far in his barnstorming career.

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Story By Matthews Mutai
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