News31 Jan 2020

Kipchoge and Kosgei lead Kenya’s marathon selections for Olympic Games


Eliud Kipchoge wins the men's marathon at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (© Getty Images)

Eliud Kipchoge will defend his Olympic title later this year, having been named on Kenya’s team for the Tokyo 2020 Games. Meanwhile, world record-holder Brigid Kosgei and world champion Ruth Chepngetich feature on the women’s team.

The World Athlete of the Year holds the world record with his 2:01:39 clocking from Berlin in 2018. The 35-year-old, who won the 2016 Olympic title in 2:08:44, has won 11 of his 12 career marathons, including victories in London, Berlin, Chicago, Rotterdam and Hamburg.

It will be Kipchoge’s fourth Olympic appearance, following his 5000m bronze in 2004, 5000m silver in 2008 and marathon gold in 2016.

He is joined on the team by Lawrence Cherono, a two-time Amsterdam Marathon champion who also won in Boston and Chicago last year, and world bronze medallist Amos Kipruto, who has a best of 2:05:43.

Two-time Honolulu Marathon winner Titus Ekiru and 2016 world half marathon silver medallist Bedan Karoki have been named as reserves.

Kenya’s squad for the women’s marathon is just as strong.

Brigid Kosgei, who set a world record of 2:14:04 (pending ratification) at last year’s Chicago Marathon, will make her Olympic debut. World champion Ruth Chepngetich, a 2:17:08 performer, will seek her second successive global title over the classic distance.

Vivian Cheruiyot will also aim to make history. Winner of the Olympic 5000m title in 2016, the 36-year-old is set to compete at her fifth Olympic Games, a record tally for a Kenyan athlete.

Frankfurt Marathon champion Valary Aiyabei and 2014 world half marathon bronze medallist Sally Chepyego are named as reserves.