L.Aufstar Eliud Kipchoge is the third athlete in Olympic history to win gold in the marathon for the second time. The 36-year-old Kenyan, who crossed the finish line first in Rio 2016, clearly prevailed on Sunday in Sapporo in 2:08:38 hours ahead of Abdi Nageeye (2:09:58) from the Netherlands. Third place went to Belgian Bashir Abdi (2:10:00). Two triumphs over the 42.195 kilometers had previously only been achieved by the Ethiopian Abebe Bikila (1960, 1964) and Waldemar Cierpinski from Halle / Saale (1976, 1980).
The German runners had nothing to do with the outcome of the race. Richard Ringer from LC Rehlingen was the best DLV starter in 26th place, 7:30 minutes behind. Amanal Petros crossed the finish line in Odori Park 7:55 minutes after the winner in 30th place. The German record holder from TV Wattenscheid stayed in the top group up to kilometer 25, but then had to pay tribute to the high speed and the heat of around 30 degrees. His club colleague Hendrik Pfeiffer finished in 50th place in 2:20:43 hours.
Kipchoge attacked at 30 km, quickly ran out a half-minute lead and thus made the decision early. Apparently playfully easy, he ran in front of numerous spectators in the last half hour of the race towards the finish. It was the fourth Olympic medal for the long-distance superstar, the first he won as a teenager in Athens in 2004 with a bronze over 5000 meters.
Kipchoge set the marathon world record in Berlin in 2018 with 2:01:39 hours. A year later he managed the first marathon under two hours in Vienna, but the time of 1:59:40 hours achieved with changing pacemakers is not a world record. A year earlier, Kipchoge in Imola had failed with a first attempt.