Eliud Kipchoge to defend Olympic marathon title if selected
Last Updated: 04/12/19 8:47am
Eliud Kipchoge, the first man to run a marathon in under two hours, has said he will defend his Olympic title in Tokyo next year, if selected.
Kipchoge became the first man to break the magical two-hour barrier in an unofficial race in Vienna last month and is also the official world record holder over the distance. He was also named World Athlete of the year at the World Athletics awards in November.
"If selected I will be there. It (Tokyo) is at the front of my mind, and I trust and believe that when the time comes I will be on the starting line."
The Olympic marathon will not take place in Tokyo next August but in the northern city of Sapporo, where the marathons and walking events have been moved by the International Olympic Committee in a bid to avoid the worst of the debilitating heat and humidity of the Tokyo area.
But Kipchoge, as ever, was careful not to voice a strong opinion on the issue.
"I think the medals are the same," he said. "I will be among the competitors, I don't complain, I'm in the hands of the IOC and anywhere they decide, I will go with it."
Kipchoge has won 11 of his 12 official marathons, including the 2016 Rio Olympics, and with the world record and the sub-two-hour mark under his belt.
He became the first man to run a marathon under two hours in October and also set the official world record for the distance of 2:01.39 in Berlin last year.