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In 2019, Eliud Kipchoge, a Kenyan long-distance runner, became the first man in the world to finish a marathon in two hours.
He hoped to be able to compete in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Kipchoge explains to Global Voices that receiving the news about the postponement was “shocking” but “confident that it is a laudable idea” from the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
All in all a very wise decision to postpone the Olympics until 2021. I look forward to come back to Japan to defend my Olympic title next year and look forward to witness a wonderful event. I wish everybody good health in these challenging times. pic.twitter.com/jrhsFEe545
– Eliud Kipchoge – EGH🇰🇪 (@EliudKipchoge) March 24, 2020
After all, postponing the Olympics until 2021 is a very smart decision. I look forward to returning to Japan next year to defend my Olympic title and I look forward to witnessing some great competition. I wish everyone good health in these difficult times.
The 34-year-old, who completed the 42 km and 195 meters of the race in one hour and 59 minutes in Austria in October 2019, hoped to be able to defend the Rio 2016 Olympic title in July. However, he will have to wait a year. plus.
Together with other African nations, Kenya has put in place strict measures to slow the spread of the extremely contagious coronavirus. The Kenyan government has imposed a curfew, closed borders and schools, and banned public gatherings to promote social distancing.
The country had 42 confirmed cases of coronavirus as of March 29, 2020.
From his home in Kenya, Kipchoge was surprised by the IOC's decision but believes it is for the greater good. He contacted Global Voices via WhatsApp on March 25 and said:
I received the news about the postponement in a shocking way, but I trust and think it’s a noble idea for IOC to come into agreement to postpone the Olympics.
Health is an important priority… a firm decision… because as human beings, we need to respect this pandemic which has hit the whole world in a hard way. ”
I received the news about the postponement shockingly, but I believe and trust that it is a noble idea on the part of the IOC to have agreed to postpone the Games.
It was a wise decision since health is a priority and as human beings we have to have respect for this pandemic that has hit the planet in the worst way.
Organizers of the Olympics in Japan were under pressure to postpone the mega-event that would attract more than 11,000 athletes, after Canada and Australia decided to withdraw, as a result of the increase in deaths and patients who tested positive for coronavirus tests. .
The IOC had said it needed more time to make the final decision on holding the Olympics, but international pressure made it rush.
Kipchoge considers the decision to be a bit hasty:
I didn't expect the suspension of the Olympics as early as this. I thought it (the decision) will come in the next one or two months as we are struggling to get rid of this virus. We live in a world of uncertainties.
I did not expect the Games to be suspended so soon. I thought they would make (the decision) in a month or two since for now we are fighting to eliminate the virus. We live in a world of uncertainties.
Kipchoge, who previously ran 5000 meters in the men's category, won bronze at the Olympics in Athens, Greece, and won the silver medal four years later in Beijing.
Kipchoge said he is isolated at home during this stage:
I am staying at home with my family – playing with the kids and trying to read some books to get some knowledge and make my mind healthy. I also watch some movies to create more connection with my family.
I'm at home with my family. I play with the children and try to read some books to gain knowledge and maintain my mental health. Also, I watch some movies to bond with my family.
Kiphchoge, who has inspired millions with this discipline, continues with his daily “home training” videos to keep his followers motivated, and to “kill time” on his farm, where he doesn't usually spend much time.
It remains the voice that conveys hope and good wishes during the global crisis with messages of strength to those who are determined to keep running:
To the thousands of runners who with me have devoted the last months of our lives towards this goal I would like to say: Be proud of the work you have put into this journey, keep smiling and seek your next goal on the horizon to continue running in a smooth and positive way! 2/2
– Eliud Kipchoge – EGH🇰🇪 (@EliudKipchoge) March 13, 2020
It is unfortunate news that the London Marathon has been postponed, but I fully respect the decision made by the organization since taking care of the health of the world is always the top priority..
To the thousands of runners who have dedicated the last months of our lives to this goal, I would like to say that we should be proud of the work done on the road, let's keep smiling and look for the next goal on the horizon, to continue running smoothly and Positive way.