In anticipation of this Sunday’s Tokyo Marathon, Eliud Kipchoge, the esteemed Kenyan marathoner, has touched down in Tokyo, eyeing his second triumph in the Japanese capital within a three-year span.

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As the top contender for the Tokyo Marathon crown, Kipchoge’s participation is a pivotal part of his training regimen for the upcoming Paris Olympics. He faces formidable competition from a strong lineup, including fellow Kenyan athletes Vincent Ngetich and Timothy Kiplagat.

Kipchoge, the celebrated marathon icon from Kenya, presently holds the record for the swiftest time in Tokyo, having completed an impressive 2:02:40 during his victorious run in the 2021 race. There’s palpable anticipation that he may outdo his own record come Sunday.

Eliud Kipchoge in Tokyo Marathon, March 6, 2022. © Kazuhiro Nogi/Pool via Reuters

Tokyo holds sentimental value for Kipchoge, serving as the backdrop where he secured his second Olympic gold at the rescheduled 2020 Olympics. Although the marathon unfolded in Sapporo, Japan, Kipchoge also clinched a silver medal in the 5000m race at the 2007 World Championships in Osaka.

Reflecting his eagerness for the Tokyo Marathon, Kipchoge stated, “Japanese people cherish running; their culture is deeply rooted in it, and they have a special affinity for marathons. It’s an exceptional city for marathons. I am eager to run fast again and relish the experience,” during his preparatory phase.

Having diligently prepared for this event, Kipchoge is eagerly anticipating his 12th Marathon Major, further embellishing his illustrious career with five victories in Berlin, four in London, and notable triumphs in Chicago, Hamburg, and Rotterdam.

The Tokyo Marathon course, recognized for its speed and level terrain, will witness a contingent of 37,500 marathon runners commencing their journey at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. The initial 5km will guide them gently downhill, and the course maintains its mostly flat profile for the remainder, with no prominent hills challenging the runners en route to the finish line at Tokyo Station.