Enschede (Netherlands), April 18 (IANS) Reigning Olympic champion and world record holder Eliud Kipchoge gave an indication that he is in peak form to retain the Tokyo Games marathon gold, winning the Enschede Marathon in 2:04:30 sec on Sunday.
Though the Kenyan was well outside his official world record of 2:01:39 set in Berlin in 2018 but he comfortably outpaced his competition.
The Rio Olympics champion had little to prove as his place on Kenya’s team for Tokyo had already been confirmed. But following a rare defeat at the London Marathon last year, the world record holder was keen to produce a confidence-boosting performance ahead of the Olympics.
Unlike many of Kipchoge’s previous marathons, Sunday’s event was never intended as an opportunity to chase record times. Nevertheless, the pace was swift as a lead group of four reached the 15km mark in 43:46 sec.
After going through halfway in 1:01:43, the pace settled in the second half with each five-km segment being covered in just outside 14:50.
Kipchoge’s tempo didn’t actually increase in the closing stages, but he maintained his sub-three-minute kilometre pace, which brought him to the finish line in a world-leading 2:04:30.
“The conditions were really good, a bit windy, but I had no complaints. The race was perfect. This was the real test towards Tokyo. It’s good to have a marathon a few months before the Olympics to test my fitness,” Kipchoge told World Athletics (WA).