Moments in which Kipchoge showed his class gasping for breath

From 2003 in Paris to last Sunday, the world marathon maestro never ceases to grab world attention. AFP

For  Eliud Kipchoge, athletics is simply a battle of brain and brawn. 

And that has elevated him to ‘The Greatest of All Time (GOAT) status, with memorable moments that left the global stage in awe.   

The showdown pitting him against Ethiopian legends Haile Gebrselassie and Kenenisa Bekele left indelible memories on cross country and marathon courses as well as on the tracks. 

The two-time world marathon record holder has achieved what most global sports icons dream of. 

He seems to borrow wise counsel from Dwight Eisenhower, the 34th President of the United States of America, who once said: “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” 

Here Standard Sports shares a ledger of five top moments that Kipchoge stunned the world –from the time he was 18 years up to last Sunday (now 37 years). 

Eliud now has two Olympic gold medals and has broken his world record twice  AFP

World 5000m in Paris (2003) 

At 18, Kipchoge pulled a fast one on two Ethiopian superstars –Haile Gebrselassie and Kenenisa Bekele at the World Championships in 5000m in Paris. 

At the meet, the gold bids of Ethiopians Gebrselassie, Bekele and Morocco’s world 1500m record holder Hicham El Guerrouj commanded attention. 

Kipchoge won one of the great races of all time, defeating Bekele and Gebrselassie. 

Earlier in the year, Kipchoge won the world cross country junior title. 

Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge crosses the line to win the Berlin Marathon in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022. 

Rio Olympic Games (2016) 

After winning bronze in 5000m at the 2004 Olympic Games (Athens) and 2008 Olympic Games (Beijing), Kipchoge struck his maiden Olympic gold at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016. 

With a dominant show, Kipchoge ran solo to the finish line (2:08.44) much to the excitement of Kenyan fans –his feat earn saw Kenya earn the medal haul at the Olympic Games. 

Kipchoge proved his mettle at the 2020 Tokyo Games as he successfully defended his title – winning 80 seconds ahead of his nearest opponent, which is the largest winning margin in a men’s Olympic marathon since 1972. 

Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge (white jersey) celebrates after crossing the finish line at the end of his attempt to bust the mythical two-hour barrier for the marathon on October 12 2019 in Vienna AFP

Berlin Marathon 2008 

Kipchoge smashed the marathon world record by winning the Berlin race in 2 hours, 1 minute and 39 seconds in 2018. 

He defended his title in the German capital, pulling ahead of his competitors early on amid perfect running conditions. 

Kipchoge broke the previous world record set in Berlin by fellow Kenyan Dennis Kimetto in 2014 by 1 minute and 16 seconds. 

The feat came just a year after his Breaking2 Project in Monza, Italy, in 2017. 

In a supreme exhibition of top form, he set the historic 2:00.25 42km all-time at Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Italy. 

The Breaking2 run had interchangeable pacemakers and on-demand drinks delivery unlike in usual marathons where water points are located at 5km mark. 

Ineos 1:59 Challenge in Vienna 

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

Eliud Kipchoge proved his mantra ‘No Human Is Limited’ when he became the first human in history to run a sub-two-hour marathon in the city of Vienna, Austria, in 2019. 

He grabbed attention of billions of viewers across the globe. Kipchoge crossed the line in a history-making time of 1:59:40:2 to become the first human to break the two-hour barrier for the marathon. 

Kipchoge’s incredible achievement places him alongside other sporting greats such as Sir Roger Bannister – who ran the first sub-four minute mile in 1954 – and Usain Bolt who’s 100m world record of 9.58 seconds has stood since 2009. 

Berlin Marathon 2022 

Kipchoge broke his own world record, lowering the mark to 2:01:09, as he powered to victory at the Berlin Marathon on Sunday. 

Shaving 30 seconds off the record he set at the same event four years ago, Kipchoge set a pace that no one could match over the entire 26.2 miles and secured his 15th career marathon win out of just 17 starts. 


By Stephen Rutto Jan. 15, 2023
Kemri says lab in Eldoret will help fight on doping
By Stephen Rutto Jan. 15, 2023
Kipchoge: My target is to win Boston Marathon
By Stephen Rutto Jan. 12, 2023
Kenya's athletics stars expected to shine even brighter this year
By Ochieng Oyugi Jan. 11, 2023
Teams leave action behind, chase Soya glory