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Olympic marathon champion and world record holder Eliud Kipchoge wins the NN Mission Marathon

ATHLETICS By Odero Charles | April 18th 2021
Olympic Marathon champion and World Record holder Eliud Kipchoge in action during the NN Mission Marathon in Enschede, the Netherlands on Sunday, April 18, 2021. [Standard Sports]

 

Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge, the Olympic marathon champion and world record holder, sent a warning to his rivals ahead of this year's Tokyo Olympics by cruising to victory in the NN Mission Marathon in Enschede, the Netherlands on Sunday.

This was Kipchoge's last marathon before he defends his Olympic title at Tokyo 2020 on 8 August.

In his first outing since a shock defeat at October's London marathon, where he came in at eighth place, Kipchoge finished the marathon at Twente Airport with a time of two hours and 04.30 minutes to reaffirm his status as the hot favourite for the Olympic race in Sapporo in August.

Kipchoge was at his dominant best in Enschede, however, going past the halfway mark in a little under 62 minutes before pulling away from Korir around the 95-minute mark to secure a comfortable victory.

Jonathan Korir of Kenya was second with a personal best of 2:06.40.

“Mission accomplished,” said Kipchoge. “The conditions were really good, a bit windy, but I had no complaints. The race was perfect. This was the real test towards Tokyo. It’s good to have a marathon a few months before the Olympics to test my fitness.”

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In the women's race, Germany's Katharina Steinruck prevailed with a personal best 2:25.59 ahead of Portugal's Sara Moreira in 2:26.42 and Rabea Schoneborn (2:27.03).

April 18, 2021 Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge celebrates winning the men's race Pool via REUTERS

The race was originally scheduled to take place on April 11 in Hamburg but was postponed over COVID-19 restrictions, forcing the organisers to look for an alternative location.

The event, closed to the public, featured more than 50 elite athletes from at least 20 countries.

Leading results

Men

1 Eliud Kipchoge (KEN) 2:04:30

2 Jonathan Korir (KEN) 2:06:40

3 Goitom Kifle (ERI) 2:08:07

4 Philemon Kacheran (KEN) 2:08:47

5 Stephen Kiprotich (UGA) 2:09:04

6 Geoffrey Kusuro (UGA) 2:09:53

7 Mathew Sang (KEN) 2:09:54

8 Filex Chemonges (UGA) 2:09:59

9 Hiskel Tewelde (ERI) 2:10:07

10 Marcin Chabowski (POL) 2:10:17

Women

1 Katharina Steinruck (GER) 2:25:59

2 Sara Moreira (POR) 2:26:42

3 Rabea Schoneborn (GER) 2:27:03

4 Laura Hottenrott (GER) 2:28:02

5 Marcela Joglova (CZE) 2:28:16

6 Jill Holterman (NED) 2:28:18

7 Mieke Gorissen (BEL) 2:28:31

8 Gladys Chesir (KEN) 2:29:16

9 Laura Mendez (ESP) 2:29:28

10 Ruth van der Meijden (NED) 2:29:30

Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture and Heritage, Amb. Amina Mohamed and Baringo senator and KANU chairman Gideon Moi were among the first leaders to take to social media to congratulate Kipchonge for winning the marathon.

“Truly proud of @EliudKipchoge for setting the Athletic bar so high and for bouncing back into the arena with such Grace, Courage and Brilliance. As we watch him complete the final kilometre, the Kenyan spirit of resilience reverberates,” Amina tweeted.

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader Raila Odinga have also come out to celebrate Eliud Kipchoge's win.

 

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