Kipchoge returns to Japan to make Tokyo Marathon debut

FILE: Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge celebrates after winning gold medal in men's marathon at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, [AP]

Two-time Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge is set to make his return to Japan for the 2022 Tokyo Marathon on March 6.

In August, Kipchoge successfully defended his Olympic marathon crown on the streets of Sapporo at the Tokyo 2020 Games.

Now the world marathon record holder has targeted a return to Japan, where he makes his Tokyo Marathon debut.

Kipchoge, the first man in history to run a sub-two-hour marathon – achieving the feat at the INEOS 1:59 Challenge – has spoken of his desire to compete and win all six Abbott World Marathon Majors, regarded as the world’s top six marathon races. These races are Boston, Chicago, New York, Berlin, London and Tokyo as well as Olympic and World Championships marathon races.

A record-breaking four-time winner of the London Marathon, a three-time Berlin Marathon champion and the 2014 Chicago Marathon victor – Kipchoge will be pursuing victory at a fourth Marathon Major in Tokyo.

Kipchoge is excited to run in Tokyo: “I would like to thank the organisers of the Tokyo Marathon to make it possible for me and my colleague athletes to race in Tokyo. My focus has been on Tokyo from the beginning of my training cycle, and I can say I am ready to race there. I am very excited to run in a country where running is a crucial part of the sports culture and looking forward to experience the Japanese excitement for running a marathon in particular."

Last year, he not only completed back-to-back Olympic marathon victories but he also triumphed in the NN Mission Marathon in Enschede.

Kipchoge is seen as the greatest marathon runner in history. A two-time Olympic 5000m medallist - since moving up to the 42.2km distance, Kipchoge has won a remarkable 13 of his 15 career marathons.

Eliud will be joined by his team mates, Jonathan Korir, Laban Korir and Ashete Bekere of Ethiopia. Philemon Kacheran and Noah Kipkemboi will join as pacemakers.