Kenyan legend defends Olympic marathon title

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Kenyan icon Eliud Kipchoge defended his Olympic marathon rubric with a magnificent tally successful Sapporo connected Sunday.

Kipchoge dominated successful brutal conditions, defying vigor and humidity to timepiece 2:08.38. While determination were 30 mid-race withdrawals, Kipchoge looked astatine easiness throughout. The satellite grounds holder smiled and adjacent fist-bumped with different runner portion successful stride. He was connected different level, finishing with nary of his rivals disposable successful the last straight.

Kipchoge defended the golden medal that helium won astatine Rio 2016 and became conscionable the 3rd antheral to triumph consecutive Olympic marathons. The others were Ethiopia's Abebe Bikila (1960-64) and East Germany's Waldemar Cierpinski (1976-80).

The Netherlands' Abdi Nageeye claimed silver, 1:20 down Kipchoge and 2 seconds up of Belgium's Bashir Abdi successful bronze.

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Eliud Kipchoge of Team Kenya crosses the decorativeness enactment during the Men's Marathon. (Getty)

Kipchoge, 36, broke from the pb battalion with conscionable implicit 10km remaining; akin to his tactics during his triumph 5 years ago. His rivals simply could not spell with him. It was greatness personified.

He volition person his golden medal astatine tonight's closing ceremonial successful Tokyo. It is his 4th Olympic medal, having won bronze and metallic respectively successful the 2004 and 2008 Olympic 5000m races.

He joined Kip Keino and Vivian Cheruiyot arsenic the lone Kenyans to person won 4 Olympic medals.

Eliud Kipchoge of Team Kenya competes successful the marathon. (Getty)

The insignificant medals contention finished successful astonishing fashion, with Nageeye urging Abdi to articulation him successful passing Kenyan Lawrence Cherono. Both Nageeye and Abdi are Somalian born, they are grooming partners - and some were capable to permission Cherono successful their wake.

Nageeye was astir waiting for Abdi contempt being adjacent to the decorativeness line, consenting him towards a medal that helium whitethorn not different person had the spot to seize.

It was similar, successful tone astatine least, to the superb scenes successful which Australia's Cedric Dubler urged compatriot Ash Moloney to bronze successful the last lawsuit (1500m) of the men's decathlon.

Belgium's Bashir Abdi (L), Kenya's Lawrence Cherono (2nd L), Netherlands' Abdi Nageeye (2nd R) and Spain's Ayad Lamdassem. (Getty)
Silver medallist Abdi Nageeye reacts astatine the extremity of the marathon, having urged Bashir Abdi (L) to tally wide of Lawrence Cheroro (R).. (Getty)

Australia's Jack Rayner, suffering a limb injury, was the race's 2nd withdrawals; conscionable earlier the 10km mark. Another aboriginal casualty was London 2012 champion Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda.

Australia's Liam Adam finished 24th with a play champion 2:15:51, portion chap Aussie Brett Robinson was 66th successful 2:24:04, also a play champion time.

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