Athletics Kenya announced its team of six marathoners for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. Also named one male and female reserve. The expected happened with, Eliud Kipchoge, who will attempt to become a three-time champion. Also named are London Marathon champion Alexander Mutiso and Tokyo Marathon winner Benson Kipruto. Timothy Kiplagat who finished second in Tokyo will be the reserve for the men.

The route

Paris Olympic Marathon Map from the Paris Olympic website.

The women

Hellen Obiri, who defended her Boston Marathon title last month was named. And Brigid Kosgei, former world record holder, has made the final three. Sharon Lokedi, who finished second in Boston, will be the fourth. Leading the team is defending champion Peres Jepchirchir.

Obiri was a late competitor into the marathon distance after having an international career in the 5000m event, twice winning silver in the Olympics and twice earning gold during the World Athletics Championships. The 34-year-old owns a personal best of 2:25:49 from the New York Marathon course and 2:21:38 from Boston. Two weeks ago, she ran Boston in the time of 2:22:37.

Brigid Kosgei broke Paula Radcliffe’s world record of 2:15:25 in Chicago in 2019 with her 2:14:04 performance. World Athletics still lists it as the world record despite there being a 2:11:53 on the books by Ethiopian Tigst Assefa from the 2023 Berlin race. Her performance is “pending ratification.” Kosgei finished second to Jepchirchir at the Tokyo Olympics Games.

Jepchirchir set the pending women-only world record when she ran the London Marathon two weeks ago (not aided by men). She clocked a 2:16:16 performance for the win. Jepchirchir is the defending Olympic champion and is a two-time half-marathon world champion. The 30-year-old also holds the women-only world record in the half-marathon at 1:05:16 from the 2020 Gdynia, Poland World Championships.

The men

Since Kelvin Kiptum (2:00:35) passed away in a single-vehicle accident in February, there has been speculation as to who would lead the men from Kenya in Paris. The obvious choice is Eliud Kipchoge, former world record holder and two-time Olympic champion.

No one has won the Olympic marathon three consecutive times. The 39-year-old has run as fast as 2:01:09 and 2:01:39 both world records when they were run. Both records were run on the Berlin course in 2018 and 2022 respectively.

Mutiso ran the 2023 Valencia Marathon in the time of 2:03:11.

Benson Kipruto has won Boston, Chicago, Prague and Tokyo Marathons and has run as fast as 2:02:16. He pulled off his personal best in Tokyo in March 2024.

*Cover photo credit: Athletics Kenya

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