Friday, June 2, 2023

Princess of sport for Kipchoge, “best marathon runner of all time”

At the feet of Eliud Kipchoge (Kpsisiwa, Kenya, 1984) there is a stopwatch directly connected to his heart and lungs that sets a pace that is nearly impossible for the rest of the world to follow. Over the past decades, this athlete has dominated the long-distance event with overwhelming superiority in athletics, star in the marathon, become a double Olympic champion, a world record holder (2:01:09) and managed to do is also the first one to happen. Loses two hours in the specialty (a mark that is not official as he received various aids, such as a group of runners who ran in ‘V’ in front of him). For all these achievements, the Princess Foundation has decided to give her the Sports Award.

As is the case with most long-distance athletes, Kipchoge did not start out in this specialty, but built a career on the track. After declaring herself the 5,000 m world champion in 2003, she achieved Olympic podiums in the same event at the Olympic Games in Athens and Beijing. The Kenyan athlete then decided to go down the road, focusing his efforts on following in the footsteps of other greats in the specialty and becoming the greatest. And he did.

Since then he has won 17 of the 20 marathons he has participated in, setting historical records in many of them. In 2016 he won the London Marathon by the largest margin over a classified second in 44 years, before securing the long-awaited Olympic gold in Rio de Janeiro the same year. Four years later, in Tokyo, he repeated his victory with outrageous ease. Leading most of the race, the change in pace was enough for him in the final section of the test to enter the Olympic Stadium alone.

Beyond official records, Kipchoge is also the hero of a historical achievement. In October 2019, in an unusual race aimed at Kenyans facing the two-hour hurdle in the marathon, he achieved what no one else had. “I’ve been to the moon, and I’ve come back. The last 200 meters, the last 30 seconds were the best moments of my life, I was making history. I’m a happy man,” he said after completing a test that He was recorded forever in the sports history books.

The test was unusual as top level athletes ran in front of him in ‘V’ formation to set a frantic pace and shield him from the wind. A well-known sports brand also wore special shoes on his feet, which improved his performance. But only he, Kipchoge, was able to maintain a pace of 2 minutes and 50 seconds per kilometer during the 42 and 195 meters of a test that attracted worldwide attention. If in one section his time was 2 minutes and 52 seconds to cope with, for example, a roundabout, in the next the road was straight, his march peaked at 2.48. Without acceleration, without brakes, he became a legend.

Growing up in his hometown, Kipchoge graduated from Kaptale High School in Nandi County in 1999. He is the youngest of four children and was raised by his mother, a teacher. Actually, he knows his father only from photographs. Patrick Song, a former Olympic medallist, was the one who began to train her, marking the start of a great career that has earned her the Princess of Asturias Foundation’s Sports Award today.

“The Greatest Marathon Runner of All Time”

The jury in charge of awarding the 2023 Princess of Asturias Award for Sports has recognized the athlete’s figure “as a benchmark in world athletics and as the best marathon runner of all time”.

He acknowledges that he has been a two-time Olympic champion and world record holder for the time trial, and for this reason Kipchoge is “the only person in history who has managed to lose two hours over 42.195 kilometres, a mark not officially Recognized.”

“In addition to his successes as an athlete, he does important social work through the Foundation, which is dedicated to facilitating access to early childhood education and protecting the environment,” the jury said.

The jury for the 2023 Princess of Asturias Sports Prize includes Abel Anton Rodrigo, Teresa Bernadas Porto, Gemma Castaño Vinales, Cristina Cubero Alcalde, Joaquín Folch-Russinol Corachan, Juan Ignacio Gallardo Tomé, Patricia García Rodríguez, Vicente Jiménez Navas. , headed by Feliciano López Díaz-Guerra, Luis Mascaro Serra, Guadalupe Porras Ayuso, Julián Redondo Pérez, Samuel Sánchez González, Teresa Perales Fernández and Theresa Zabel Lucas serving as secretary.

Nation World News Desk
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