Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge, Olympic champion and world record holder, leads the group of 106 athletes who at 7:00 am started at Odori Park in Sapporo to run the marathon, the last athletics event in the Tokyo 2020 Games.
With a record of 2:01:39, Kipchoge aspires to become the third man in history to revalidate the Olympic title in the 42,195-meter race. Only the Ethiopian Abebe Bikila (Rome’60 and Tokyo’64) and the East German Waldemar Cierpinski (Montreal’76 and Moscow’80) have succeeded to date.
The Olympic record belongs to the Kenyan Samuel Wanjiru, winner in Beijing 2008 with a time of 2:06:32.
The weather conditions at the start of the race are slightly more favorable than in the women’s marathon on Saturday: 26 degrees and 80 percent humidity.
The men’s marathon is the only athletics final on the closing day of the Games.