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Kipchoge braces for London Marathon challenge to inspire generation

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-05-24 12:56
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Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge, the marathon world record holder, celebrates after a successful attempt to run a marathon in under two hours in Vienna, Austria, Oct 12, 2019. [Photo/Agencies]

NAIROBI -- World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge believes he will get better with age and defend his title at the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics.

Kipchoge will be 36 next year when he steps out to defend his Olympic marathon title, a race he dreams to win.

For now he is engaged in food distribution to the most vulnerable athletes in Kenya through his charitable foundation, but he has continued training, albeit at a reduced level of frequency and intensity.

Kipchoge believes he will be ready for the London Marathon in October should the global health situation allow the event to take place.

"I always say that success comes with hard work and each day I put in an effort to improve my fitness, though I train alone. I always get advice from the coaches and my physiotherapist," Kipchoge said on Friday.

Kipchoge remains focused on his next mission after London Marathon organizers confirmed that all invited elite athletes will honor the rescheduled race on Oct 4.

"When the COVID-19 came, we all thought it would go away very fast, and that we would resume again for the Olympics. But the Games were postponed too. I had to think and to come back and say 'This is a challenge'," Kipchoge said.

And while he dreams to reign in London and run a faster time, possibly a world record attempt to improve on his 2:01:39 best, Kipchoge is not closing his door on charity and believes he is driven by inspiring millions of people through his running and Kipchoge Foundation.

"I need to inspire more and more people in this world so that we are in a much better place now than before," he said.

At 35, Kipchoge knows he is in his sunset years as an elite marathon runner, yet he refuses to let go of the quest, saying it is a mental challenge that he intends to overcome and defend his title in London in October and then turn to Tokyo in 2021.

"My dream has always been to defend my marathon titles. I had done more than half of the preparations for the London Marathon before it was postponed. But I will be back. It was to be my preparation for the Tokyo Games.

However, he called on his fellow athletes to exercise patience and restraint. "Plan well, prepare well, and set your priorities right. Let's think positive and live in a positive way," he added.

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