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.

Related items

  • Parchment runs world lead to win at Birmingham Diamond League Parchment runs world lead to win at Birmingham Diamond League

    Reigning Olympic 110m hurdles champion Hansle Parchment ran a world-leading 13.09 to win at the Birmingham Diamond League, at the Alexander Stadium, in London on Saturday.

    Parchment finished ahead of countryman and 2016 Olympic champion Omar McLeod who ran a season’s best 13.17 for second, while Spain’s Asier Martinez was third in 13.22.

    Reigning Olympic bronze medallist in the Women’s 100m Shericka Jackson narrowly finished second in the Women’s blue-ribband event, running 11.12 to finish behind British 2019 200m World champion Dina Asher-Smith (11.11). Asher-Smith’s countrywoman Daryll Neita was third in 11.14.

    Olympic 800m finalist Natoya Goule was third in the Women’s 800m in 2:00.13 behind Olympic silver medallist Keely Hodgkinson of Great Britain (1:58.63) and Renelle Lamote of France (1:59.53).

     

  • "I knew I was going to do something great!", Demisha Roswell says of her 12.44 lifetime best at Big 12 Championships "I knew I was going to do something great!", Demisha Roswell says of her 12.44 lifetime best at Big 12 Championships

    Demisha Roswell shocked everyone, herself included when she won the 100m hurdles at the Big 12 Outdoor Conference Championships at Fuller Field in Lubbock, Texas on Sunday. The Texas Tech senior edged her more heralded compatriot Ackera Nugent, the 2021 World U20 champion and a talented field, clocking 12.44, the second fastest time in the world this season and the fastest in the NCAA.

    Only the 12.39 from Tokyo Olympic champion, Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, has been faster this year. Nugent’s time for second place, 12.45, is the third fastest time in the world in 2022.

    The victory was a bit of a surprise for the 24-year-old Vere Technical and New Mexico Junior College alum, who went into the final having run 12.78 in her preliminary round heat. “No, I didn’t expect the time. I was more excited about the win, to be honest. I’m still in shock!”, she said.

    From the gun, Roswell found herself matching strides with Nugent but was never intimidated and had no intention to yield as they raced towards the finish line.

    “That’s the crazy part of the race because I told myself I want to win I have to win. I was like “Oh no,  you’re not getting away today,” she said laughing while admitting that she felt something special would happen.

    “From the moment I wasn’t nervous I knew I was going to do something great. Ackera is an amazing competitor and the both of us know we got to show out and fight and that’s what I did because I wanted to win.”

    Roswell credits her faith in her coaches and continuous hard work in improving her technique for getting her to this point where she is the fastest Jamaican sprint hurdler in the world this year, a significant achievement given her country’s stock in hurdling talent that includes Olympic medallist Megan Tapper, 2015 World Champion and national record holder Danielle Williams, World U20 record holder Brittany Anderson and, of course, Baylor's Nugent.

    “The main factors are time, patience and faith,” she said. “Every day I have to keep improving because my hurdling is not perfect but thanks to my coaches for always trying with me to improve my hurdling.

    “I don’t have the best hurdles technique because I wasn’t cut out for hurdling. I was just a 200m and a 100m runner when suddenly my coach from back home, John Mair, told me, ‘ Roswell, I think you should do hurdles. I said to him ‘Huh, me? I can’t do hurdles coach. He then said, ‘Listen, to me you’re going to do it so I went for it.”

    She said when she moved to the United States to attend New Mexico Junior College, her coaches Keith Blackwill and Tabarie Henry helped her improve her technique even though it still wasn’t perfect. Still, it was good enough to win her the NJCAA Indoor 60mh title and 100mh Outdoor title in 2019 and the 60mh title in 2020.

    At Texas Tech, the work to perfect her technique continues.

    “Coach (Zach) Glavash got me here and Coach (Calvin) Robinson started work on me. My technique has gotten better from last year until now. I thank God for these coaches every day for working with me even though there is still room for improvement,” she said.

    With the sweet taste of victory still lingering, Roswell has an eye on even bigger scalps this summer. She reveals that she plans to earn a spot on Jamaica’s team to the World Championships in Oregon this summer.

     “Most definitely that’s the aim, trying my best to make this national team,” she said.

    “(I am) just looking to stay healthy and be ready because hurdling is unpredictable, anything can happen but I won’t be travelling across the ocean and not make the team. So on that day, the time will tell. I put everything in God's hands.”

  • Elaine Thompson-Herah withdraws from 100m at Saturday's Birmingham Diamond League meeting Elaine Thompson-Herah withdraws from 100m at Saturday's Birmingham Diamond League meeting

    Elaine Thompson-Herah has withdrawn from the Birmingham Diamond League meeting on Saturday. The Tokyo Olympics triple gold medallist cited her withdrawal as precautionary.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.