Eliud Kipchoge pleads for global peace after winning Tokyo marathon
On Sunday morning, the world witnessed another spectacle as world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge, back on Japanese soil, ran the fourth-fastest time in history to claim the Tokyo Marathon victory.
The 37-year-old set a new course record of 2:02:40 to claim top honours. This was not the only moment that captured the headlines, Kipchoge took time to plead for peace to prevail around the world.
At a time when Russia and Ukraine are at war, many sportspersons and organisations have been preaching for peace and truce to be found between the two nations and Kipchoge's message was well captured in a tweet he posted after the race.
"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," the athlete tweeted.
In a race that had its own challenges, Kipchoge ensured that he was not deterred from achieving what took him to the Tokyo streets and unlike last year at the Olympics when the heat took a toll on the marathoners in Sapporo, he breezed through the wind to win his ninth major in a decade.
"I’m really happy and being back here in Japan after winning the Olympic Games (at the marathon race) in Sapporo… When I said ‘I run strong in Japan’ I did it by running a 2:02. " he said in an interview after the race.
With Russia and Ukraine already at war, Kipchoge's message may well be what's needed at the moment.