Kenya’s legendary marathoner, Eliud Kipchoge, ran the fastest marathon on Japanese soil clocking a record time of 2:02:40 at the delayed 2021 Tokyo Marathon on Sunday, March 6, 2022.
According to Olympics.com, Kipchoge’s overall standard remained impressive on the 37-year-old’s first return to Japan since defending his Olympic marathon title at Tokyo 2020.
“I’m really happy and being back here in Japan after winning the Olympic Games in Sapporo… When I said ‘I run strong in Japan’ I did it by running a 2:02. This is my fourth time to win World Major Marathon. I’m really happy,” Kipchoge is quoted as saying on the official broadcast.
“I am so proud to win in the streets of Tokyo, where the people have running in their hearts and minds. It’s great to now have won 4 out of the 6 Abbott World Marathon Major races. Finally, I want to say I want this world to unite. My win today is to bring positivity in this world,” he further tweeted.
I am so proud to win in the streets of Tokyo, where the people have running in their heart and minds. It’s great to now have won 4 out of the 6 Abbott World Marathon Major races. Finally, I want to say I want this world to unite. My win today is to bring positivity in this world. pic.twitter.com/xBnEvTcPmY
— Eliud Kipchoge – EGH🇰🇪 (@EliudKipchoge) March 6, 2022
Olympics.com reported that this was also the fourth fastest marathon time ever—the only quicker times being Kipchoge’s world record 2:01:39 at the 2018 Berlin Marathon, Kenenisa Bekele’s 2:01:41 in 2019 which was also in Berlin and Kipchoge’s 2:02:37 at the 2019 London Marathon.
Amos Kipruto, bronze medallist at the 2019 World Athletics Championships, who failed to complete last year’s Olympic marathon came, second with 2:03:13 followed by Ethiopia’s Rio 2016 10,000m bronze medallist T*amirat Tola* in third position with 2:04:14.
Kosgei clocks fastest time in women’s race
Kenyan and world record holder, Brigid Kosgei, grabbed the women’s victory in 2:16:02, the fastest women’s time on Japanese soil.
Ashete Bekere was second in 2:17:58 followed by another Ethiopian, Gotytom Gebreslase, who came third with a difference of 20 seconds.
Congratulations @EliudKipchoge and Brigid Kosgei for winning and breaking course records for the men and women Tokyo Marathon. Well in Amos Kipruto for coming second. You are our heroes! Keep running. pic.twitter.com/rNqmMR2KjR
— William Samoei Ruto, PhD (@WilliamsRuto) March 6, 2022
Kenyan President His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta congratulated Kipchoge and Brigid Kosgei for their sterling performance in their respective races at the Tokyo Marathon 2021.
2/2 The two dominated their races setting the fastest times ever ran on Japan soil in their respective races. @EliudKipchoge the double Olympic Champion won the race in 2hrs: 02min: 40sec while Brigid who is a World record holder completed the race in 2:16.02 #TokyoMarathon pic.twitter.com/2fUO4jWQ1n
— State House Kenya (@StateHouseKenya) March 6, 2022
The race was officially named the 2021 Tokyo Marathon because the 2021 event was moved from October 2021 to the March 2022 date.
Tokyo Marathon: Top 10 results
Top 10 Men
Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya) 2:02:40
Amos Kipruto (Kenya) 2:03:13
Tamirat Tola (Ethiopia) 2:04:14
Suzuki Kengo (Japan) 2:05:28
Shura Kitata (Ethiopia) 2:06:12
Laban Korir (Kenya) 2:06:37
Sonota Kenya (Japan) 2:07:23
Yuzawa Shun (Japan) 2:07:31
Kikutani Kento (Japan) 2:07:55
Michael Githae (Ethiopia) 2:07:55
Top 10 Women
Brigid Kosgei (Kenya) 2:16:02
Ashete Bekere (Ethiopia) 2:17:58
Gotytom Gebrselase (Ethiopia) 2:18:18
Angela Tanui (Kenya)
Hiwot Gebrekidan (Ethiopia)
Ichiyama Mao (Japan) 2:21:02
Niiya Hitomi (Japan) 2:21:17
Sara Hall (USA) 2:22:56
Helen Bekele (Ethiopia) 2:24:33
Morita Kaori (Japan) 2:27:38