Kipruto says he will follow in Kipchoge's footsteps in Paris

Kenya's Vincent Kipchumba (L), Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge (C) and Kenya's Benson Kipruto (R) lead the elite men's race of a past London Marathon. [AFP]

Tokyo Marathon champion Benson Kipruto will be following in Eliud Kipchoge’s footsteps at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Kipruto made the final cut in the country’s men’s marathon team to the Paris showpiece in August.

The 2021 Boston Marathon champion will be competing once again with Kipchoge, a two-time (back-to-back) Olympic champion, who will be in Paris to chase a historic third title.

The duo participated in the 2024 Tokyo Marathon, and Kipruto claimed victory.

He says Kipchoge has been his mentor and his presence meant that the team would have an experienced member.

“It will be good to work as a team. We have been running with Eliud and I will be following in his footsteps (in Paris),” said Kipruto.

The 2022 Chicago Marathon champion went on: “He (Kipchoge) is looking for the third title and I will be looking for my first win, and that is what we are going to do at the Paris Olympics, of course working as a team.”

He is returning from his off season, after the Tokyo Marathon victory and the hardest part – training is beginning.

Kipruto, who was born 33 years in Nandi, came to the limelight after winning Toronto Waterfront Marathon in 2018.

He later chalked up a win at the 2021 Prague Marathon and never disappointed that year when he achieved a stunning victory at his first World Marathon Major in Boston.

“I am so happy to be in Team Kenya for the marathon and I am looking forward to running a good race in Paris….. I am now getting prepared for the biggest event this year,” Kipruto said.

The Kapsabet-based road racer said he chose to run the 2024 Tokyo Marathon in March to get adequate time to prepare for the Paris Olympics. He had hopes of being selected after his name featured in a provisional team that was made public in December 2023.

In Kapsabet, Kipruto trains alongside a strong team of partners among them two-Boston Marathon winner Evans Chebet and Amos Kipruto, the 2022 London Marathon champion.

“Three months is enough for me to train that is why I chose to run the Tokyo Marathon. Coming from the off season, I have now started training in readiness for the Olympic marathon,”

He is hopeful that the ongoing rains would not distract his training sessions.

Athletics Kenya President Jackson Tuwei said Kipruto would be expected to team up with his compatriots for stellar performances.

“He is equal to the task and we believe he is going to do his best,” Tuwei said during the unveiling of the final marathon squad last week.

Apart from injecting experience to the men’s marathon team to Paris, Kipchoge says: “I will be running to showcase our country and athletics career.”

Kipruto and Kipchoge will be representing Kenya in Paris alongside the reigning London Marathon Alexander Mutiso.

The women’s marathon charges to Paris Olympics comprise former World Record holder Brigid Kosgei, Boston Marathon champion Hellen Obiri, and women-only marathon record holder Peres Jepchirchir. Sharon Lokedi is a reserve.

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