Eliud Kipchoge Loses Tokyo Marathon As Benson Kipruto, Kelvin Kiptum’s Friend Reign Supreme

Eliud Kipchoge Loses Tokyo Marathon As Benson Kipruto, Kelvin Kiptum’s Friend Reign Supreme

Martin Moses
updated at March 3, 2024 at 10:06 AM
  • Eliud Kipchoge lost his first race of the 2024 season at the Tokyo Marathon
  • Kenya's Benson Kipruto shattered Kipchoge's course record to win the race
  • Timothy Kiplagat, Kelvin Kiptum's training partner, finished in second place

Eliud Kipchoge had a tough outing at the Tokyo Marathon, finishing a disappointing 10th on March 3. The former world record holder took to the streets in Japan, looking to reclaim the title he won in 2022.

He set a course record time of 2:02:40 two years ago en route to victory. He then skipped the 2023 edition in favour of the Boston Marathon, where he finished sixth. In his absence, no Kenyan made it to the podium, with Deso Gelmisa leading a 1-2-3 Ethiopian clean sweep.

Eliud Kipchoge, Benson Kipruto, Tokyo Marathon 2024, Timothy Kiplagat, Kelvin Kiptum
Eliud Kipchoge competes at the Tokyo 2022 marathon. Photo by David Mareuil.
Source: Getty Images

This year, Benson Kipruto ran a new course record time, winning the race with 2:02:16. Timothy Kiplagat was second with 2:02:55, while Victor Ngetich claimed bronze with a time of 2:04:18.

2024 Tokyo Marathon

Kipchoge stuck with the leading pack from the start, and as they crossed the 10K mark, they were well within a world record pace. They clocked 28:30, which put the projected finish at 2:00:15, which would have been considerably lower than the world record of the late Kelvin Kiptum.

Kipchoge, however, started falling off the pace as they approached the 20K mark, and at some point, one of his NN Running teammates had to drop back to encourage him. The pack crossed the mark at 57:14 but shook off the double Olympic champion completely at the halfway split at 60:20.

With Kipchoge surprisingly dropping off, the race turned out to be a battle between Timothy Kiplagat and Benson Kipruto. Let's Run's Justin Lagat reports that the former was Kiptum's training mate and almost cancelled his Tokyo Marathon plans following the tragic passing of his friend.

Kipruto edges Kiplagat

The two, Kiplagat and Kipruto, crossed the 35K mark at 1:41:02. Kipruto then injected the pace, leaving his compatriot behind. By the time he crossed the 39K mark at 1:53:00, the 2022 Chicago Marathon champion had taken a commanding lead in the race. This is now the third world marathon major Kipruto has won, following previous successes in Chicago and Boston marathons.

Kipchoge crossed the line with a time of 2:06:50 - his third-worst time in marathon running. It is, however, important to note that two of his worst times won him the two Olympic gold medals.

The 39-year-old will now re-strategise ahead of his unprecedented stab at a third successive Olympic gold medal in Paris later this year.

Omanyala blanks journalist

Sports Brief has also reported that Ferdinand Omanyala left a journalist hanging during the 2024 World Athletics Indoor Championships in Glasgow,

Omanyala was worried that he had strayed off his line and failed to respond to the questions posed by Jeanette Kwakye.

The African champion over the 100m later finished 4th in the 60m in his second appearance at the championships.

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Martin Moses
Martin Moses is a sports journalist with over five years of experience in media. He graduated from Multimedia University of Kenya (Bachelor of Journalism, 2017-2021)
Eliud Kipchoge