Kenyan marathoner and world record holder – Eliud Kipchoge has proven once more why he is the sure bet going to the 2020 Japan Olympics having clocked 2:04:30 to win the NN Mission Marathon yesterday in the Netherlands.

The race which was moved from Hamburg in Germany to Twente Airport near Enschede in the Netherlands saw the 36-year-old Kipchoge took to the runway in style and, after passing halfway in 61:43, he put in a smooth and seemingly effortless performance as he pulled away from fellow Kenyan and training partner Jonathan Korir with 9km to finish.

In a race that was specially organised to help athletes qualify for the Games, there were a flurry of fast times. The top eight men ran sub-2:10 and 15 broke the Olympic qualifying mark of 2:11:30.

Conditions were chilly with Kipchoge and others starting the race wearing gloves, but fortunately the wind was not strong on what was a potentially exposed course.

Kipchoge had this to say after the race:

“It is mission accomplished,” said Kipchoge.

“The conditions were really good. It was a bit windy but I have no complaint, we were running as one.

“The race was really perfect. The NN Mission Marathon was a real test before Tokyo. It was so good a marathon happened a few months before Tokyo to test our fitness.

“To organise this in the middle of a pandemic and show that people can still run and deliver their best race before the Olympics is very important.”

Korir clocked 2:06:40 to win the second position while Eritrea’s Goitom Kifle coasted 2:08:07 to place third.