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Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge basks in marathon glory after London win   

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The debate over who is the greatest marathon runner has been answered emphatically by Kenyan Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge.

The 33-year-old said on Monday that he will not celebrate his win in London, the third in as many attempts, but rather will focus on the fact that his victory has inspired many to carry on in his footsteps.

Despite missing the world marathon record by 80 seconds because of the hot weather conditions, Kipchoge remained cool.

“I can’t complain about the weather, it was the same for all 40,000 competitors. I don’t think I will celebrate this performance, I have celebrated by inspiring many people,” he said.

It was Kipchoge’s eighth straight marathon. He started his marathon career with a win in Hamburg, Germany in 2013 and lost his only race in Berlin the same year to Wilson Kipsang, who set a world record of 2:03:23.

Kipchoge went on to win in Rotterdam and Chicago in 2014, London and Berlin in 2015, London and Rio Olympics in 2016 and last year he won in Monza in 2:00:25 under special conditions and Berlin in 2:03:32, missing the Dennis Kimetto world record (2:02:57) by just 35 seconds.

Kipchoge produced an incredible upset at the 2003 IAAF World Championships, when at the age of 18 he won the 5,000 meters gold medal in Paris, defeating two legends, Kenenisa Bekele and Hicham el Guerrouj.

“I can say we enjoyed the race. I promised a beautiful race and it was,” he added.

Dutch female marathoner Lornah Kiplagat congratulated Kenya on its performance saying it was the best so far.

“Despite the tough competition, they remained steady and focused,” she said.

Kipchoge’s coach Patrick Sang was also grateful in the win. “I am the silent man behind the scenes,” he said.

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