Kenya’s two-time Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge said Wednesday he is seeking to make it a record-breaking three in a row at the 2024 Games in Paris.
“I still have something boiling in my stomach that’s why I am looking forward to it (racing in Paris),” Kipchoge said at a virtual media conference from his training ground in Kenya.
Besides Kipchoge, only Abebe Bikila (1960, 1964) and Waldemar Cierpinski (1976, 1980) have won consecutive Olympic marathon titles.
The 37-year-old Kenyan, who won back-to-back titles at the 2016 and 2020 Olympics in Rio and Tokyo, also Wednesday signed a new sponsorship deal with British chemicals giant Ineos to prepare for the Games.
He made history in October 2019 when he smashed the two-hour marathon barrier, running 1hr 59min 40.2sec in a Vienna experiment that does not, however, count as an official record.
“I am excited to keep breaking barriers,” Kipchoge said in a statement.
The Kenyan world record holder, whose official marathon record stands at 2:01:39, will be just a few months shy of his 40th birthday when he competes in Paris in July 2024. If he succeeds, Kipchoge would also become the oldest Olympic marathon champion, beating Romanian Constantina Dita who won the Beijing women’s marathon in 2008 at the age of 38.
Kipchoge is an ambassador for Paris 2024 and in October led more than 3,600 amateur runners in a special race in the French capital to celebrate 1,000 days before the start of the Games.
After his Tokyo victory, which cemented his status as the greatest marathon runner of all time, Kipchoge said he wanted to inspire the next generation of marathon runners.
“My main motivation is to inspire the whole world and the next one is the love of sport,” Kipchoge told Olympics.com at the time.
“When I say the inspiration to the whole world is that I still need the next generation. I trust by 2024 I will have made the world a running world.”