Eliud Kipchoge's wise words after tough Tokyo Marathon

• The elite runner finished in 10th place as Kenyans took a clean sweep of the top 3 positions.

Eliud Kipchoge
Image: Instagram

Double Marathon winner, Eliud Kipchoge, faced strong competition in the recent Tokyo Marathon in Japan where he finished in 10th place.

Emerging talent Benson Kipruto stole the show from Eliud in the men's race and won in a meet record time of 2 hours, 2 minutes, and 16 seconds.

Kipchoge - who once held the record of 2:02:40 - finished 10th in 2:06:50. It was the fourth slowest marathon in the veteran's career at the age of 39.

"That's how it is," Kipchoge said. "Every day is not Christmas."

Kipruto led a Kenyan sweep with Timothy Kiplagat (2:02:55) and Vincent Kipkemoi Ngetich (2:04:18).

The women's race was also finished in record time as Sutume Asefa Kebede of Ethiopia claimed the title in 2:15:55.

Two-time Olympic champion Siffan Hassan finished fourth (2:18:55) in her third marathon of her career.

Things took an unexpected turn even before the 20-kilometer mark when Kipchoge, who last ran here two years ago, withdrew from the leading group.

The half-split was 1:00:20, but by then, Kipchoge was already struggling. Through kilometer 25, the Kenyan legend fell behind by over a minute, and his prospects began to look grim.

Kipchoge finished behind even Nishiyama Yusuke, a Japanese who finished in ninth place in 2:06:31.

He did not clarify what happened during the 42.195-kilometer journey or about his expectations for Paris 2024, where the unprecedented three Olympic competitions are approaching.

"I was fit enough, but something happened in the middle of the race," Kipchoge said. "I think it's too early to say now (about Paris). I can go back, rest, and start training."

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