Unfortunate but necessary – Kenyan athletes support Olympics deferral

Unfortunate but necessary – Kenyan athletes support Olympics deferral

World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge has praised the  International Olympics Committee and the Japanese government for the bold decision to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games to 2021.

The decision means the 35-year-old will not be able to defend his Olympics title he won four years ago in Rio in July until a later due to coronavirus pandemic.

“All in all a very wise decision to postpone the Olympics until 2021. I look forward to going to Japan to defend my Olympic title next year and look forward to witnessing a wonderful event. I wish everybody good health in these challenging times,” tweeted Kipchoge who became the first man to run a full marathon in under two hours after his 1:59:40.2 feat during the Ineos Challenge in Vienna last year.

Kipchoge, who is in the Kenyan men’s marathon team alongside Boston and Chicago marathon champion Lawrence Cherono and World Championships marathon bronze medallist Amos Kipruto, won the 2016 Rio Olympics gold medal in 2 hours 8 minutes 44 seconds.

Also praising the decision is reigning 1,500m Olympic champion Faith Chepng’etich who says she fully supports the IOC and the Japanese government. 

“Just like other athletes and everyone involved, I think the decision is the right one. It was not going to be right to put lives at risk,” said the 2017 world champion.

Chepng’etich who recently returned from maternity leave while also battling an injury suffered during the Doha World Championships where she settled for Gold didn’t disclose whether postponement of the Games will help her get back to her best shape.

Also praising the decision to get the Games delayed is world 1,500m champion Timothy Cheruiyot who had been hugely tipped to go for the Olympics title especially after a stellar 2019 season where hewon a fourth consecutive Diamond League trophy.

“It’s not about me or any other athlete. This is a difficult time we are all in. I hope we can return to our way of life soon. So yes, postponement is the right call,” added Cheruiyot.