[dropcap]H[/dropcap]e is currently considered by many as the greatest Kenyan athlete of all time because of his exemplary performance on the track. As he prepares for his second attempt to finish a marathon in under 2 hours, Business Today takes a look at the athlete’s journey to glory.
Well, Eliud Kipchoge’s journey of athletics dates way back and every point of his life has built to the man we know today as one of the greatest marathoners to ever grace the track.
Currently aged 34, Kipchoge was Born November 5, 1984, in Kapsisiywa, Nandi District of Kenya. There is little detail about his childhood and whether running was his dream all along. One thing is clear though, he has achieved more than any Kenyan ever has in their athletics career.
In 2001, when the Olympic champion was only aged 16, he met his trainer Patrick Sang, a former Olympic medallist in the steeplechase. Sang has been training Kipchoge ever since and deserves some credit on Kipchoge’s success so far.
Kipchoge’s first international assignment was in 2002 when he competed at the World Cross Country Championships individual junior race in Dublin and finished fifth. He was, however, part of the Keya team that won gold at the Championships.
A year later, 17-year-old Kipchoge returned to the international arena, this time setting a new world junior record in 5,000 metres at the 2003 Bislett Games, which stood as World and African record until 2012.
The phenomenal Kipchoge won his first gold medal in a major event at the 2003 World Championships 5000m final in Paris. Everything since then seemed to work in Kipchoge’s favour.
After winning gold in Paris, Kipchoge was set to compete at his first Olympics, held in Athens in 2004. He won bronze at the 5000m final of the competition. He then went ahead to win two silvers at the 2007 World Championships at Osaka, behind Bernard Lagat and at the 2008 Beijing Games, behind Kenenisa Bekele.
Kipchoge was slowly improving and taking everything by a step at a time. He made his Diamond League debut in 2010 by winning the 5,000m Qatar Athletic Super Grand Prix. In the same year, Kipchoge finished second behind Ugandan runner Moses Kipsiro in the 5,000m final at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
It was in 2012 that Kipchoge began to make his move into road events. He first began by making his half-marathon debut at the 2012 Lille Half Marathon, where he finished third. His time of 59:25 became the second fastest half marathon debut, only second to Moses Mosop’s 59:20 in Milan in 2010.
He then opened 2013 season with a number one finish at the Barcelona Half Marathon before making a smooth transition to full marathons by taking the Hamburg title in April. He went ahead to finish second at the 2013 Berlin Marathon with a time of 2:04:05, the then fifth fastest time in history. Mind you the Berlin Marathon was his second ever full marathon. Two years later, he won the Berlin Marathon.
Still, in 2015, Kipchoge won his first London marathon and also defended his title in 2016. His 2016 run in London broke the course record and became the second-fastest marathon time in history.
In 2017, he won his second Berlin marathon title in rainy conditions. Around this time, Kipchoge was already at the peak of his career. He won his third London marathon the following year. In September of 2018, He retained his Berlin Marathon title breaking the previous world record by 1 minute and 18 seconds.
His next achievement after that is also his latest one in the recent London marathon where he bagged his fourth title in the event.