A look into Eliud Kipchoge’s main challengers at Sunday's Tokyo Marathon


ATHLETICS A look into Eliud Kipchoge’s main challengers at Sunday's Tokyo Marathon

Festus Chuma 11:03 - 01.03.2024

At the 2024 Tokyo Marathon, Eliud Kipchoge faces stiff competition from rising stars and seasoned athletes in a high-stakes race.

Eliud Kipchoge takes his place on a marathon start line this weekend setting the stage for an epic showdown at the 2024 Tokyo Marathon, the kick-off for Series XVI of the Abbott World Marathon Majors. 

With a record of 11 wins out of 14 starts in the Majors, Kipchoge is undeniably the man to beat. 

However, the competition is fierce, with several elite runners aiming to dethrone the marathon king.

Here are profiles of Kipchoge's top challengers in this much-anticipated race.

Vincent Kipkemoi

Vincent Kipkemoi Ngetich, at 25, stands as Kipchoge's primary adversary in Tokyo. 

Having secured second place behind Kipchoge at the 2023 Berlin Marathon with a personal best of 2:03:21, Ngetich has shown that he is a formidable competitor. 

His performances, including victories at the 2022 Tokyo Legacy and Medio Maraton de Madrid half marathons, signal his readiness to challenge Kipchoge's dominance. 

As he approaches his peak, the marathon world is eager to see if Ngetich can convert his potential into victory on the streets of Tokyo.

Benson Kipruto

Benson Kipruto, a seasoned marathoner with two Abbott World Marathon Majors titles under his belt is another strong contender. 

With wins in Chicago and Boston, Kipruto is no stranger to victory on the world stage. 

His personal best of 2:04:02, set in Chicago in 2023, coupled with his experience and resilience, positions him as a significant threat to Kipchoge. 

Chalu Deso

Ethiopian runner Chalu Deso is the dark horse capable of upsetting the elite field. 

With a personal best of 2:04:53 at the Valencia Marathon and victories in Porto and Paris, Deso has demonstrated his ability to compete at the highest level.

 As the defending Tokyo Marathon champion, he has the experience and confidence needed to take on Kipchoge. 

At only 26 years old, Deso's track record and recent performances suggest he is a rising star with the potential to make headlines in Tokyo.

Japanese contenders

The race also features a compelling subplot involving Japanese athletes vying for Olympic selection. 

Ichitaka Yamashita and Kenya Sonota, with respective personal bests of 2:05:51 and 2:05:59, along with Suguru Osako (2:06:13), are in contention for the coveted spots on the Japanese Olympic team. 

With Kengo Suzuki, Kyohei Hosoya, and Kazuya Nishiyama also chasing Olympic dreams, the national competition is as fierce as the international battle at the front of the pack. 

The quick pace set by Kipchoge and his elite counterparts may well provide the perfect conditions for these athletes to achieve personal bests and secure their places in Olympic history.

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