Kipchoge reveals desire for an Olympics hat-trick in Paris as he targets one more race this year

© Eliud Kipchoge Twitter

ATHLETICS Kipchoge reveals desire for an Olympics hat-trick in Paris as he targets one more race this year

Joel Omotto 19:26 - 26.06.2023

The marathon great has cast his sights at further Olympics glory at next year’s games in the French capital.

World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge is keen on adding a third Olympics gold medal before he thinks of retiring from athletics.

Kipchoge will be in Paris next year as he attempts to become the first man to win a hat-trick of Olympics marathon golds and he is confident of winning given his experience and training.

“The priority now is to focus on the Olympics and win a third time. The other (challenges) will come later,” Kipchoge told AFP.

His two Olympic marathon gold medals in 2016 and 2021 put him at level with Ethiopia’s Abebe Bikila (1960, 1964) and Waldemar Cierpinski of East Germany (1976, 1980) but a third in the French capital would make Kipchoge the undisputed marathon giant at the Games, and bring him a victory steeped in symbolism.

Paris where Kipchoge won his first international crown in 2003 at the age of 18, clinching the 5,000m World Championship gold ahead of sporting legends Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco and Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele.

Kipchoge also weighed in on his disappointing sixth-place finish at the Boston Marathon in April, pinning the loss on a hamstring injury and not the tough and hilly course in the American city as claimed by some observers.

“I’m trying to forget what has happened in Boston. It’s caught in my mind but I believe that what has passed has passed,” he added.

“It is not (hilly course) really a concern, but I respect everybody’s thoughts. I think it was a bad day and every day is a different day. I’m looking forward for next year. Everybody can write anything, you have no control. But I know myself.”

Kipchoge is busy in training at his base in Kaptagat with eyes on another marathon this year and has promised to disclose where he will run next in July. Berlin Marathon in September, Chicago in October, and New York in November are the major races still to run and it is thought that he will run in one of the US cities.

“I’m doing well. My training is going on in a good way. At the end of July, I will know where to go,” said Kipchoge, who is impressed by the emergence of compatriot Kelvin Kiptum, who won the London Marathon in April in 2:01:25, the second fastest time in history, and just 16 seconds away from his own world record.

“I want to be an inspiration and I trust my breaking the world record twice is an inspiration to many young people. I trust they will want more and even beat my records,” added the marathon great.

Kipchoge also talked about the doping menace that has seen a large number of Kenyan runners sanctioned over various violations and he feels authorities should prioritise testing for performance-enhancing substances as it is much more important than education.

“Just pump everything in testing, put testing as a first priority and all will be well,” he said.

“The moment we prioritise testing and we register those who are handling the athletes across the country, we have the right data to know who is who in the whole country.

“But if we really ignore the people who are working with athletes and athletes themselves, then we are in danger.”