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Kenyan world record holder Kipchoge: We will win this fight against Covid-19

Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge crosses the finish line at the 2019 London Marathon. Photo: twitter.com/EliudKipchoge

Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge crosses the finish line at the 2019 London Marathon. Photo: twitter.com/EliudKipchoge

Published Mar 31, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG – Kenyan world record holder Eliud Kipchoge is optimistic Covid-19 will be defeated.

“We will win this fight against the Covid-19,” Kipchoge told Reuters in an interview. "Together within a couple of months to come, this Covid-19 will go away.

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“My priority No 1 is to get the virus away, come back with one mind, one thinking, one line of actually standing and competing.”

“I am totally concentrating on my safety, I am totally concentrating on the safety of the whole family,” he said. “The virus has really hit us in a hard way. That’s why you need to focus.”

Kipchoge, 35, set the men’s marathon record of 2:01:39 at the Berlin Marathon in 2018.

Having also won gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Kipchoge was billed as the favourite for the Tokyo Olympics which were scheduled to begin in July. Since the postponement of the Olympics and other major races, it has left many athletes in limbo as their training cycles have been interrupted.

At first, Kipchoge was surprised when the news filtered in earlier this month that the Olympics had been postponed to 2021.

“I was a little shocked and I had to go back, just to think more. I think and then I said: ‘It’s not a bad idea to actually postpone.’ You know the Olympic Games is whereby everybody wants to participate ... it’s in the dreams of every sportsman in this world.”

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But, it’s a great time for us to go back, train again and we will come back with a lot of energy.”

It’s no secret that Kipchoge has a team of athletes he trains alongside, which has been vital in his record-breaking exploits - but now with Covid-19 safety precautions it means Kipchoge will spend many hours in training on his own.

Thanks Eliud Kipchoge

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for the powerful message... Together we shall slay the coronavirus devil! pic.twitter.com/iAJZZoqkuk

— Elias Makori (@EliasMakori) March 31, 2020

“It’s hard to run alone. When you have people around, the pace is OK, you just talk when you are running. You enjoy the run,” said Kipchoge, who hopes to resume serious training by May.

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“I am seeing myself still running again in 2021,” he said. “Let the year ahead [come] first, we will make a big decision after the year ends.” 

African News Agency (ANA)

* For the latest on the Covid-19 outbreak, visit IOL's  #Coronavirus trend page.

** If you think you have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus, please call the 24-hour hotline on 0800 029 999 or visit   sacoronavirus.co.za

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