"Kipchoge is the king of us, even if we beat him"

Emily Oakshott reviews Eliud Kipchoge's shock loss in the London Marathon

Emily Oakshott
22nd October 2020

In a shock result, 24-year-old Shura Kitata sprinted to victory in the London Marathon, leaving defending champion Eluid Kipchoge trailing behind in 8th place.

On Sunday, all eyes were on world record holder, Eliud Kipchoge, as he set out to defend his London Marathon title.

Kipchoge made history in 2019, when he became the first person to run a marathon in under 2 hours, and was the clear favourite to win the prestigious event.

However, with just 2 of the 19 laps remaining, Kipchoge fell behind and finished in 8th place – over 1 minute behind the race leaders.

At the front of the race, the young Ethiopian Kitata fought hard against Kenya’s Vincent Kipchumba and won in a dramatic sprint finish. He crossed the line with an impressive time of 2 hours, 5 minutes and 41 seconds.

When asked how he felt about taking Kipchoge’s title, race winner Kitata said: "Even though I am happy with my position yesterday, in my heart, he is still our champion." He added: “Kipchoge is the king of us, even if we beat him”.

“It was a shock for all of us. We had expected him [Eliud Kipchoge] to win by miles”

Britain’s Mo Farah, who was a pacer in the race.

Speaking to the BBC, Kipchoge graciously accepted defeat, admitting that he had suffered from a blocked ear and trouble with his hip. He said: "I started off well. But I just got a slight problem with my right ear. It got blocked, and I tried to do all necessary. I tried to hold back, but it was not possible. But this is sport. Today you are up, tomorrow you are down."

He went on to say that he accepted the result and wishes to "congratulate all finishers".

While it was difficult to watch the much-loved reigning champion be dethroned, Sunday’s London Marathon was an exciting and action-packed event.

And never fear, Kipchoge will undoubtably be back to contest the title again next year.

Featured image: via @LondonMarathon on Twitter
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