Eliud Kipchoge Finishes 10th at the Tokyo Marathon

The 39-year-old went out at world record pace but faded in the second half.


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At the 2024 Tokyo Marathon, Eliud Kipchoge finished in 10th place in 2:06:50, over four-and-a-half minutes behind the winner, Benson Kipruto.

From the gun, Kipchoge, 39, inserted himself in the lead pack, and the pace early on was hot. The group of seven came through the 15-kilometre mark in 42:45, which was on pace for the late Kelvin Kiptum’s world record of 2:00:35. But after kilometre 19, Kipchoge began to fall back from the group. By the half marathon mark, he was 12 seconds back, and after 28 kilometres, he was caught by the chase pack.

From there, he continued to lose time and ultimately crossed the finish line in his lowest placing ever at a marathon. (He was eighth at London in 2020.)

Kipruto’s winning time of 2:02:16 was enough to get under Kipchoge’s former course record of 2:02:40. Timothy Kiplagat finished second in 2:02:55, and Vincent Kipkemoi Ngetich (2:04:18) took third.

Kipchoge’s performance comes on the heels of an up-and-down 2023. In April, he debuted at the Boston Marathon but struggled in the later kilometres, fading to sixth place in 2:09:23—the slowest time of his career. Five months later at the Berlin Marathon, however, Kipchoge re-found his form. He cruised to a 2:02:42, winning the race for the fifth time.

Kipchoge has made his intentions clear for 2024. The Olympic Marathon at the Summer Games in Paris is at the top of his mind. The Kenyan federation has not announced its team yet, but it would be surprising if Kipchoge is not on it. He’s won gold medals at the last two Olympics and is currently the top-ranked marathoner in the world, as of February 27.

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