What you need to know:
- Responding to questions from journalists moments after landing at JKIA, alongside 1500m silver medalists Timothy Cheruyot and marathoner Ruth Chepngetich, th3 36-year-old remained non-committal on whether he would hang his boots after the triumph in Japan.
- He gave the analogy of how parents who are blessed with a baby never plan for the next one immediately, saying he will announce his next plans in one-month's time.
Retirement is the last thing in the mind of Olympic marathon men's champion Eliud Kipchoge.
This came out clearly on Wednesday when the world record marathon holder arrived at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi from Tokyo, Japan, where he had successfully defended his Olympic maratthon crown.
In the race held last Sunday on the streets of Sapporo, Kipchoge claimed gold after timing two hours, eight minutes and 38 seconds to become only the third man to win consecutive marathon titles.
Dutchman Abdi Nageeye bagged silver in 2:09.58, while Belgian Bashir Abdi settled for bronze in 2:10.00.
Responding to questions from journalists moments after landing at JKIA, alongside 1500m silver medalists Timothy Cheruyot and marathoner Ruth Chepngetich, the 36-year-old remained non-committal on whether he would hang his boots after the triumph in Japan.
He gave the analogy of how parents who are blessed with a baby never plan for the next one immediately, saying he will announce his next plans in one-month's time.
“I think it is good not to ask about retirement…When your wife delivered the first child, did you plan for the next one immediately?" Posed Kipchoge to a journalist, who responded in negation.
Government officials who welcomed the athletes at the airport said the event was low key due to Covid-19 containment protocols which prohibit large gatherings. They said a ceremony will be held at a later day to celebrate all the athletes who made Kenya proud in Tokyo.
Kipchoge, who has earned the title G.O.A.T. (Greatest Of All Time) from his supporters due his unmatched success in athletics, said he is not bothered by the time he posted in Tokyo, noting that winning in the Olympics is to inspire people that everything is possible.
“We trained very well, participated in a good way and got the best results…To run in the Olympics is about humanity. It is about winning and showing the world that we as human beings can do it. It is not about how fast or slow you are,” said the father of three.
The victory at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics was Kipchoge’s 13th success in the 15 marathons he has raced in since 2013. He broke the world record in 2018 when he timed 2:01.39 in the Berlin Marathon.
On October 12, 2019, Kipchoge timed 1:59.40 at the Ineos 1:59 Challenge in Vienna, Austria. But the time did not count as a new marathon record since standard competition rules were not followed.
About his future plans, Kipchoge reiterated that he will be nurturing talents.
“I have a huge plan to inspire the youth and everybody in this world. I want to make running a Kenyan lifestyle. I want to make the young people to respect the sport, treat it like a real profession," he said.