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Eliud Kipchoge runs his worst marathon in Tokyo

Eliud Kipchoge runs his worst marathon in Tokyo
Eliud Kipchoge on his way to the finish at the Tokyo Marathon where he finished in tenth place on Sunday 03, 2024 in Tokyo, Japan. Photo: NN Running Team

Double Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge failed to defend his title at the 17th edition of Tokyo marathon held on Sunday Morning in Tokyo, Japan.

The 39 year-old who is regarded as one of the greatest marathon runners of all time, struggled in the race as he could not pick up the pace of the double world marathon major, Benson Kipruto who pulled away from him with the lead group of three in a blistering speed of 57:145 at the 20km mark.

Kipruto further pulled away from the legend as he tagged along with his two compatriots Vincent Ngetich who was the second fastest athlete on the entrant list (with a time of 2:03.13, which was the fastest debut in marathon history) and Timothy Kiplagat who was the third fastest athlete on paper with a time of 2:03.50, whom they also dropped shortly.  

Kipchoge who was familiar with the course having taken top honors two years ago with a course time of 2:02.40, was hit with first shock of his running marathon career as he dropped 14 seconds from the leading group of three – Kiplagat, Kipruto and Ngetich.

The trio sailed through the half way mark in 1:00.20. Kipchoge found the going tough as he went through the 25km in 1:12.50 which was one minute eleven seconds behind the leading group who passed the mark in 1:11.39m, which was under the world record time.

At the 30km mark Kipchoge had been completely destroyed by the three Kenyans led by Kiplagat who had created a distance of about 30m between him (Kipchoge), Ngetich and Kipruto who later closed the gap at the 32km mark as the leader was losing gas.

The former world 5000m champion was caught up by the chasing pack at the 32km mark. Headed by the two pacers to keep up, Kipchoge could not sustain the pace as he seemed to fight with his body, mind soul.

He was caught up by another chasing group led by the 2011 All-Africa Games 10,000m silver medallist Bedan Karoki, who has been out of action for the past two years and Japan based Simon Kariuki at the 34km and at the 37km the legend was trailing in position eleven.

KIpchoge who become the first human being in recorded history to do a sub-two-hour marathon in Vienna, found himself in more trouble as at the 40km mark he had been passed by two Ethiopians, two Kenyans, one Israel and one Japan as he went on to finish in tenth place in 2:06.50 which four minutes behind the new course record holder.

This is the worst performance ever that Kipchoge has ever achieved in his 19 marathons that he has raced in.



  1. Benson Kipruto        (KEN) 2:02.16
  2. Timothy Kiplagat     (KEN) 2:02.55
  3. Vincent Ngetich        (KEN) 2:04.18
  4. Hailemaryam Kiros  (ETH) 2:05.43
  5. Tsegaye Getachew    (ETH) 2:06.25
  6. Bethwel Kibet           (KEN) 2:06.26
  7. Haimro Alame           (ISR) 2:06.27
  8. Simon Kariuki           (KEN) 2:06.29
  9. Yusuke Nishiyama     (JPN) 2:06.31
  10. Eliud Kipchoge        (KEN) 2:06.50


  • John Vaselyne

    John Vaselyne is the founder of Athletics News. Africa’s only Independent Athletics News website. He has covered World U18 and U20 Championships, World Cross Country Championships, Four Continental Tour Gold Series, Wanda Diamond League. He has passion for the Sport and has over seven years experience in this area of sport. He is also the Leading Athletics Pundit in the Country, having been hosted in ALL leading TV stations in Kenya

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