© Copyright – 2024 – Athletics Illustrated

*April Fools joke…..

Two-time Olympic marathon champion, Eliud Kipchoge, of Kenya has announced that he will not attempt to defend his title at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

“It is with a heavy heart that I announce my decision to withdraw from the Paris 2024 Olympics. Competing at the Olympics has always been a great thing and I was looking forward to winning my third successive title.

However, at this juncture in my life, I feel compelled to explore new opportunities and challenges,” he shared in a press release.

Photo credit: NN Running.

The 39-year-old won the 2016 Rio Olympic Marathon in 2:08:44, followed by the 2020 (2021) Tokyo Olympic Marathon in 2:08:38. He also earned silver and bronze medals at the Athens and Beijing Olympic Games in the 5000-metre event.

Marathon Majors

There are six Marathon Majors events. Kipchoge has won a major event 11 times including Berlin five times, where he twice broke the world record. In 2018 he set it at 2:01:39, then in 2023 at 2:01:09. The record has since been surpassed by Kelvin Kiptum, who died earlier this year. The two, competing for Olympic gold, would have been a showcase event for the Olympic Games.

Kipchoge also won the London Marathon four times, and Tokyo and Chicago once each. He has run 10 times under 2:05, six under 2:04:00 and twice under 2:02:00. Kipchoge won 17 of the first 20 marathons he entered. Of the six times he ran Berlin, he never finished slower than 2:04:05.

Kipchoge is coming off his lowest placing in a marathon from the 2024 Tokyo Marathon finishing 10th in 2:06:50.

Breaking2 and INEOS 1:59

Kipchoge was the subject of two experimental marathon-distance runs attempting to become the first human to run under 2:00:00. Neither event qualified as an official marathon. They were deemed time trials, however, the courses were measured to World Athletics standards at exactly 42.195 kilometres.

In 2017, the event titled Breaking2 was set up on a looped course in Monza, Italy, on the Monza car race track. With several select pacers, he came very close where he stopped the clock at 2:00:25. Two years later, a new course was set up on the streets of Vienna, Austria with more pacers who ran in a V-shape formation. The pace car both times carried a large display clock and drove at sub-2 pace. This time he went sub-2 hours clocking a 1:59:40.

The Nike-sponsored spectacle was good for the sport and engendered the oft-used phrase “No human is limited.”


Kipchoge ran the 1500m distance as fast as 3:33.20 at the Hengelo Diamond League meet in 2004. His 5000m best is 12:46.53 that same year in Rome. Three years later he clocked 26:49.02 in the 10,000m in Hengelo.

Kipchoge’s half-marathon best is 59:25 from Lille, France in 2012. It is an event that many believed he would have run faster if he raced in them more often. His marathon best remains from the 2022 Berlin Marathon where he ran 2:01:09, a world record since surpassed by fellow Kenyan Kelvin Kiptum at 2:00:35 in Chicago 2023. Kipchoge’s 2:01:09 continues as the second-fastest official marathon of all time.

2024 Paris Olympic Marathon

The 2024 Paris Olympic Marathon title is now wide open, as several competitors will jockey for the lead, who otherwise may have sat in a pack letting Kiptum and Kipchoge do the work. And to see who would break first, if either did.

In global rankings, the top three Kenyans are Benson Kipruto (2:02:16), Alexander Mutiso Munyao (2:03:11) and Vincent Kipkemoi Ngetich (2:03:13). Ethiopian Tamirat Tola (2:03:40) is ranked fourth overall, however, Kiptum’s name continues to sit atop the global rankings list at World Athletic’s website. Any number of 25 or so East African athletes may challenge for the win on the streets of Paris.

Kipchoge is represented by NN Running and Global Sports Communications of The Netherlands, led by Jos Hermanns. It is currently unknown if he will retire. The man — until Kiptum emerged — was known as the greatest marathon runner of all time. He may continue to be considered so, factoring in his back-to-back Olympic titles and his long stretch of marathon wins.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.