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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kipchoge eyes to defend Olympic
title in Tokyo, targets world record   

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- London marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge says he intends to defend his Olympic title at the Tokyo 2020 games.

Kipchoge, who has been touted as the greatest ever marathon with his eighth win in nine attempts in London last Sunday, wants to attain the feat before he retires from the sport.

“My aim is to continue through until the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo where I will defend my marathon title. Tokyo 2020 is definitely not in the back of mind. It is in the front of my mind,” Kipchoge told reporters here on Tuesday.

Though Athletics Kenya has the right to select who represents the country in the Olympics, Kipchoge believes he will be strong enough to continue the dominance in the 42km race until 2020.

For now, Kipchoge, 34, is not revealing what will be his next stop as he takes a deserved rest and recover from that grueling performance in London.

“For now, it will be important for me to recover and then discuss with my management and coaches on the best possible race,” he said.

Kipchoge said he still gets nervous before the race and worries if he will be able to weather the storm from all the elite runners and the expectations of his fans.

“I still get nervous when starting a race. The day and morning of the race are as hard as to anyone. I always try to breathe and be normal,” he added.

Meanwhile, Olympic winner Tirunesh Dibaba, who did not finish the London Marathon, said she has learnt a valuable lesson about running fast times and will be wiser in her future competitions.

“Thank you for having me at the London Marathon. Even though my training went well, I misjudged the pace and unfortunately didn’t have the strength to finish. I will be back strong. Thank you all for all the support,” she said.

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