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Kenyan Runners Smash New Course Records at Tokyo Marathon

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World record-holders Eliud Kipchoge and Brigid Kosgei recorded another two of the fastest marathons of all time to win the men’s marathon and women’s marathon in Tokyo.

Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya, known as the greatest marathon runner of all time, won the men’s event in 2:02:40 while Brigid Kosgei, also from Kenya, won the women’s race in 2:16:02, the third-fastest marathon of all time.

The winning times for Kipchoge and Kosgei set new course records for the Tokyo Marathon.

The 37-year-old Kipchoge ran the third-fastest marathon of his life and the fourth-fastest of all time. He holds the world record in a time of 2:01:39, which he set in 2018 in Berlin.

Kipchoge was on track to beat his own world record in the Tokyo Marathon, however he was hampered by a wrong turn around the 10-kilometre mark that cost him valuable seconds.

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Kipchoge has previously won the London Marathon four times, the Berlin Marathon three times and the Chicago Marathon once. Only a win in the Boston Marathon and the New York City Marathon is required for him to complete the Grand Slam of Marathon Major victories.

Kipchoge, who won marathon gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics and also at last year’s Tokyo Olympics, said he was pleased with his performance and hoped it would inspire the world to unite in peace.

“Today I’m very happy. After winning my second Olympic Gold medal in Japan last summer, I returned to Tokyo to run a strong race. And this is what I meant with a strong race, 2:02 victory, and new course record,” Kipchoge said. 

“I’m proud to now have won four out of the six Abbott World Marathon Major races.”

“Finally, I want to say I want this world to unite. If there are differences I want us to meet and speak, not fight. My win today is to bring positivity in this world.”

After finishing second at the Tokyo Olympics in the women’s marathon, Kosgei was back in Tokyo and looking for redemption and a big performance.

The current world-record holder dominated the field to win in  2:16:02, the third-fastest marathon of all time.

Kosgei has won the Chicago Marathon twice, the London Marathon twice and the Tokyo Marathon once, giving her five World Marathon Major wins.

The Tokyo Marathon had 20,000 race entrants and marked a return to normal for the event after two years of COVID-19 pandemic disruptions.

In 2020, as COVID-19 was beginning to spread around the world, the race was held for elite runners only and last year the race was initially moved from the spring to the fall before it was cancelled entirely.

Joel Martelli
Joel Martelli
The only thing that Joel Martelli loves more than football (seriously, we wouldn't be surprised if he has a Wollongong Wolves tattoo) is writing about all things sports. With a Bachelor of Communications and Media Studies Degree specialising in Journalism, he spends his days uncovering breaking athlete news stories and diving deep into play-by-play strategies. We're glad that he's put his passion to the pages of Only Sports as one of our dedicated sports writers.

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