Eliud Kipchoge on his London Marathon win, the mass race and Sir Mo Farah

  • Kobe Tong

It’s about time that Eliud Kipchoge is considered one of the greatest sportspeople in history.

Winning the London Marathon is an astonishing feat in itself, but to do so with the second fastest time in history – smashing the course record in tandem – was something else entirely.

Sports fans last saw Kipchoge when he obliterated the marathon world-record in Berlin and clocking a similarly astonishing time of 2:02:38 proved that his achievement was no fluke.

The race had been billed rather inaccurately as a dogfight with Sir Mo Farah, but it was the plucky performances from Mosinet Geremew and Mule Wasihun that offered the biggest challenge.

The two Ethiopians became the fastest ever second and third place finishers in marathon history, doing their best to chase Kipchoge, before succumbing to the inevitable.

Kipchoge takes centre stage

It speaks volumes that Farah – one of the greatest distance runners in history – could barely touch the great Kenyan and still finished in fifth with an impressive time of 2:05:39.

However, what makes Kipchoge a truly respected figure, is the way in which he carries himself – entering a press conference with the same sereneness that’s so typical of his running.

GiveMeSport caught up with the 34-year-old once the dust had settled on his victory and he believes it was a landmark moment in an already illustrious career.

Kipchoge: I made history

“I can say it was a big achievement,” Kipchoge explained in the Tower Hotel. “One, I made history here in London by winning for the fourth time.

“Second, it was my first race since breaking the world record, it was pure proof that I really broke the world record by running second fastest time ever.

“And the third is that I’m part of history by being amongst those who ran yesterday, who help the 2019 London Marathon and to surpass £1 billion as far as charity is concerned.”

Praise for the general public

For 99% of the planet, running a marathon anywhere near two hours is simply fantasy but running 26.2 miles remains a fantastic achievement regardless of the time.

Over 40,000 runners took to the streets of London on Sunday and even though Kipchoge was running miles ahead of the mass race, he never forgot the inspiring individuals behind him.

“To do the London Marathon for a special cause, that’s what humanity is. That’s what the family of human beings needs,” Kipchoge remarked.

“That’s why we live together and that’s why we call ourselves human beings.”

Competing against Mo Farah

Kipchoge will be taking a well-earned break in the aftermath of his victory, recovering back home in Kenya before drawing up his plans for 2019.

It seems unlikely that Kipchoge will be racing against Farah anytime soon, especially considering the Brit is flirting with a track return at this summer’s Anniversary Games.

If Farah does decide to challenge the greatest ever marathoner once again, he will have the full support of the record-holder himself, who gave a positive review of his rival’s performance.

Batting away the idea that Farah struggled, Kipchoge explained: “I think Mo performed well! It’s good – Mo ran 2:05, which is a fantastic time and there’s still big room for improvement.”

A sporting legend

Kipchoge has achieved enough in athletics to hang up his trainers and be considered as one of the greats. He has, after all, penned his name across every page of the history books.

However, the great man continues to have his sights set on Tokyo 2020 and with each stellar performance, the public will continue to wonder whether he can dip under two hours.

The fact Kipchoge can even challenge sport’s greatest barrier is a reminder that – as far as athlete performance is concerned – we’re all just mere mortals compared to him.

Do you think Kipchoge is the greatest athlete in history? Have your say in the comments section below.

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