Eliud Kipchoge heads for the Olympic marathon hat-trick

Kenya’s long-distance legend wants to make history in Paris in 2024, but plans to race a spring marathon this year as he joins INEOS again

Eliud Kipchoge, 37, has nothing to prove. After winning two Olympic titles and eight city marathons, setting a world record of 2:01:39 and becoming the first person to cross two hours at 26.2 miles, his athletic immortality is guaranteed.

Still, he wants more.

During a media conference to announce a long-term “performance partnership” with INEOS, he said his intention was to try to win an unprecedented third Olympic marathon at the Paris Games in 2024.

In the near future, he intends to race a marathon in March or April this year.

Possible options could be Tokyo on March 6, Boston on April 18, or it could return to the venue of its less than two-hour time trial in 2019 and run the Vienna City Marathon on April 24. Alternatively, he could plan a separate event with INEOS similar to INEOS 1:59, which made history two years ago.

However, such speculation is likely to end within the next three weeks, as Kipchoge’s manager Valentijn Trouw says they have a “beautiful plan” that will be revealed as soon as their plan is still at the mercy of the pandemic.

Only Abebe Bikila (1960 and 1964) and Waldemar Cierpinski (1976 and 1980) won consecutive Olympic marathon titles, but Kipchoge wants to go even further with a hat-trick.

“I still have something in my stomach.” That’s why I’m looking forward to it, “he says. “My main motivation is to give inspiration to the whole world.”

Eliud Kipchoge (Getty)

Despite his age, Kipchoge still believes he has something to give. He certainly did not look his best during last year’s successful defense of the Olympic title in style in Japan.

He now feels that working with INEOS will help him run faster, as he can draw on the experience of other sports that the global chemical company is involved in, such as cycling, F1, rugby and sailing.

“INEOS loves challenges,” he says, “and it’s just like me – I love challenges.”

He adds: “Getting support from such a great subject in sports is a huge boost for me and the team. We’ve had a wonderful relationship since we started working together, and we’ve changed the world together. I am excited that with the support of INEOS on our side, we can continue to break down barriers.

“I believe we can have a strong influence on all sports by sharing our knowledge and experience. Using the best minds in sports will continue to allow us to push the boundaries of running. I look forward to the future. “

Sir David Brailsford is best known in sports circles for his work in cycling, but he led the INEOS 1:59 Challenge and was appointed INEOS Sports Director at the end of last year.

“The first challenges are largely in the DNA of what we do,” says Brailsford. “We didn’t win the Olympic marathon three times, so it’s a big ‘first time ever’.

“It’s bold, ambitious and exciting.”

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David Berry

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