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See Kipchoge And Other Africans Who Made History At The 2021 Tokyo Marathon

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When it comes to running marathons, Africans are known to be elite performers, and the just-concluded Tokyo marathon is a case in point. The event which is one of the World’s Marathon Majors was postponed in 2021 due to the pandemic. It finally took place on the 6th of March 2022 and some of the best African marathon runners were in attendance. Unfortunately, the mass participation was closed to all international runners. However, the elite race is where the magic happened, and here are the Africans who participated in the event.

African Marathoners At The Tokyo Marathon

Kenya and Ethiopia are the only two African countries that were represented among the top 100 runners elite divisions of the Tokyo marathon. Out of the 15,646 men and 3,390 women who started the race, 10 Kenyans and 3 Ethiopians made it to the top 100 runners In the men’s category, and in the women’s category, there were 2 Kenyans and 4 Ethiopians. Most of the Africans who took part in the Tokyo marathon are professional long-distance runners.

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Kenyan Marathoner and World Champion Eliud Kipchoge at the Tokyo Marathon 2021 (Photo credit: @EliudKipchoge/Twitter)

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Among these were the likes of Eliud Kipchoge Kenya’s two-time Olympic gold medalist. Eluid who is regarded as the greatest marathon runner in history ran the Tokyo course with fellow African champions including; his countryman Amos Kipruto, 2019 world marathon bronze medalist; Ethiopian’s Kitata Shura who won the London marathon in 2020, and Tamirat Tola who took home the bronze medal at the 2016 Olympic Game in Rio, Brazil. There is also Mosinet Geremew, another Ethiopian long-distance runner and silver medalist at the 2019 world marathon held in Doha, Qatar. 

On the women’s side, the Ethiopian team led in numbers with 4 out of the 6 African athletes who participated in the event. Clinching the spotlight was Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei, who’s currently the World marathon record holder in the women’s category. With 4 gold medals under her belt, Kosgei could be eyeing her fifth gold medal after coming second place at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Last year’s London marathon runner-up Ashete Bekere and Berlin marathon winner Gotytom Gebreslase were participating as well.

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Female world marathon champion Brigid Kosgei at the Tokyo marathon (Photo credit: @urimiscott/Twitter)

Setting New Records

It was a spectacular display as the African teams led in both the men’s and women’s categories of the marathon. Eliud Kipchoge, who currently holds the world marathon record, put up a stunning display, completing the Tokyo marathon course at 2:02:40 which is the fastest marathon time on Japanese soil

“I am truly happy, I am glad to be able to come to Japan again…..I am grateful to the people of Tokyo who cheered me on.”

This will be the sixth Abbott World Marathon Majors win for the Kenyan marathoner. Kipchoge led the race with Kipruto and Tamirat Tola coming in second and third place respectively. In total, six African runners made it to the top 10 of the Tokyo marathon. Speaking after the race, Kipochoge made a plea for the world to unite through sports, saying;

“Let’s bring peace to the world by uniting and running together. The world is facing a difficult situation. There is only sport. We can find a solution if we unite. Let’s become one team.”

Kenya also led the women’s race as Kosgei pulled through with a new record of 2:16:02 on the Tokyo course. Unlike Kipchoge, this was Kosgei’s first time racing in Tokyo and she did it in record time. Closing in behind her were the Ethiopian long-distance runner Ashete Bekere and Gotytom Gebreslasce in second and third place respectively.

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“It was very exciting. I am happy to have set a new course record.”There was a head wind (in the last part), and it was like being pushed back. I think I could have run under 2 hours 15 minutes without the wind. “Kosgei

Reactions Trailing The African Marathoners in Tokyo

 

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