Tokyo Olympics: Kipchoge retains marathon gold in dominant style and delivers message of inspiration

By Sports Desk August 07, 2021

Eliud Kipchoge defended his Olympic marathon title in sensational fashion before telling those at home to "be inspired" and expressing his belief Tokyo 2020 has shown there is "hope" towards a return to normality.

The Kenyan legend became just the third person to successfully defend an Olympic marathon title and the first athlete to do so since 1980.

Kipchoge's time of 2:08:38 was 1.20 faster than Abdi Nageeye and was a sensational result considering the searing heat in Sapporo. It also marked the largest margin of victory since Frank Shorter's win in 1972.

Afterwards, Kipchoge – who now has four Olympic medals to his name – used his platform to deliver an inspirational message about how the Games have provided a sense of normality amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking to BBC Sport, he said: "Firstly I want to say thank you to everyone for the support and to those that made the Olympics, Tokyo 2020 happen.

"I am happy to defend my title and to show the next generation, if you respect the sport and be disciplined you can accomplish your assignment.

"It was not easy, but it was really hard for everybody if you consider the weather. I am happy to cross the finishing line as the fastest.

"Tokyo 2020 has happened, it means a lot, it means there is hope. It means we are on the right track to a normal life. So we are on the track to our normal lives that is the meaning of the Olympics.

"Thank you to all fans, to all the people in the whole world who were watching, be inspired."

The men's marathon was the last athletics event of Tokyo 2020 ahead of Sunday's closing ceremony, which is due to start at 8pm local time.

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