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Olympic champ Kipchoge says focus is on London Marathon
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Olympic champ Kipchoge says focus is on London Marathon

Agency News

Nairobi, Feb 20: Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge says he is firmly focused on retaining his London Marathon title in April.

Speaking in Nairobi, Kipchoge, 34, believes he has the hunger to go on and conquer the London Marathon course for a record fourth time in the seven years he has competed as an elite marathoner.

"This year I am purely concentrating on London Marathon," Kipchoge said on Tuesday. "I can say that the London course is beautiful and I am working hard to keep pushing the limits. I want to run a race that actually all the fans will truly enjoy," he added.

Kipchoge, who broke the world marathon record in Berlin in September 2018 clocking 2:01:39, was honored in Monaco with the Laureus Academy's Exceptional Achievement award, a discretionary award that has only been handed out three times previously in the history of the event.

Previous winners include swimming great Michael Phelps (2013), Chinese tennis champion Li Na (2015) and Italian football star Francesco Totti (2018).

"I would like to thank my fans around the world for all their support. I believe that a running world is a peaceful world, a sporting world is a healthy world and that a sporting world is an enjoyable world," said Kipchoge.

The Olympic marathon champion has also hinted at defending his title in Tokyo in 2020. However, he is keen to accomplish his targets in 2019 and will let his performance determine his future competitions.

In the English capital, Kipchoge will be hunting for a fourth title after triumphs in 2015, 2016 and 2018.

Kipchoge says he relishes the challenge he anticipates from Britain's Mo Farah, who is also the Chicago Marathon champ along the streets of the English capital.

"Farah is a great champion and has proved he can win major marathon after his victory in Chicago. I had a memorable 2018, winning in London and Berlin, where I set a new world record. I'm hoping that 2019 is just as good to me."

Kipchoge won the London Marathon in April last year in 2:04:17, which was almost a minute off his last mark on the same course back in 2016 of 2:03:05. Now he targets to enjoy his run and try and beat his own course record.

"It's going well," he said. "I want to win London for the fourth time."

XINHUA-UNI