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UPDATE 1-Athletics-Kipchoge warming up for Olympics marathon in Netherlands race

SportApr 16, 2021 17:36
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(Adds quotes)
By Omar Mohammed
NAIROBI, April 16 (Reuters) - Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge, the
Olympic marathon champion and world record holder, said he was
looking forward to a beautiful race on Sunday in Enschede, the
Netherlands, a run he sees as crucial preparation for this
year's Tokyo Olympics.
The race was originally scheduled to take place on April 11
in Hamburg but was postponed over COVID-19 restrictions, forcing
the organisers to look for an alternative location.
It will be Kipchoge's first outing since his surprise loss
at the London marathon in October when he was eighth, more than
five minutes slower than his world record of 2:01:39 and over a
minute adrift of Ethiopian winner Shura Kitata. "My goal is the same - to run a good race and a beautiful
race," he told reporters in a virtual news conference on Friday.
"All of us will enjoy, we will test ourselves, the shape we will
have on Sunday, but above is the beauty of the race."
The event, closed to the public, will feature more than 50
elite athletes from at least 20 countries, said the organisers.
Among those competing on Sunday against Kipchoge will be
2012 Olympic marathon champion Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda.
"Winning is important, specific time is important but I
can't say I want to aim for this time, I really want to run a
beautiful race," Kipchoge said.
Kipchoge also said it had been hard to cope with the
restrictions on training resulting from the pandemic.
"COVID has destroyed everything, it has destabilised our
training, our lives. Now we train with the small groups and we
are competing without the fans," he said.
"I have been in the sport for the last 17 years and trained
with a crew and imagine one day you are being told to train
alone," Kipchoge added. "But all in all, we have overcome, we
are nearly overcoming."

NO FANS
Considered one of the sport's greatest marathoners, the
36-year-old suffered his first defeat since 2013 in London.
Kipchoge, who up until the London marathon had won 10
straight races, said he had suffered from a blocked ear that
affected his breathing and cramp in his hip. While he told reporters he did not change any part of his
training regime after the London race, the experience taught him
how to run without fans, who have been forced to stay home from
sports competitions due to the pandemic.
"I still continue with my training, I have the same coach,
same management, same thinking and that's why I am here again,"
he said.
"We started to run without fans in London and this is the
second leg of running without fans and that's one way to learn
and actually absorb and accept that we should move on because
life cannot stop anymore."
Overseas fans have already been barred from attending the
Tokyo Games and organisers plan to decide this month on the
maximum number of local fans permitted in venues.
The race in Enschede on Sunday, taking place at Twente
airport, is crucial preparation for the Olympics marathon in
August, said Kipchoge, the first man to run the distance in
under two hours in an unofficial race.
Kipchoge will also for the first time use a biosensor to
monitor his glucose levels during the race, a tool that he said
will help him know when he can "fuel".
"It's good actually this race was organised, to help me and
the rest of the people who will be qualifying for Tokyo," he
said.

UPDATE 1-Athletics-Kipchoge warming up for Olympics marathon in Netherlands race
 

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