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January 19, 2019

Kipchoge to skip jackpot defining Tokyo race

Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge crosses the finish line to win the men's 42nd Berlin marathon, in Berlin, Germany September 27, 2015.  REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke
Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge crosses the finish line to win the men's 42nd Berlin marathon, in Berlin, Germany September 27, 2015. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

The Tokyo race signifies the end to the ninth edition of the Abbott’s World Marathon Majors, where Eliud Kipchoge sits on top with 50 points.

“I am not going for the February (Tokyo) race,” said Kipchoge, the 2003 World 5,000m champion. “I cannot stress myself to run a race so as to win a jackpot, no! I am going as per my plans. I am focusing on doing better in 2016 than what I did this year,” said Kipchoge.

“The Rio Olympics are top in my mind. If selected, I will honour them and hope to come with a good performance from Brazil.”

Kipchoge was excited with his Athletics Kenya award received last week, saying: “It is my first time to be awarded at home after 13 years. It’s a challenge to do better. I want to challenge the youth to work ahead and know that athletics is a journey. They must also embrace discipline, without which they will be like an octopus on a rollerskate.”

He said it was even more special coming after he was honoured just last month by the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) alongside Mare Dibaba.

If Kipchoge skips theTokyo event, then he stands to lose the jackpot to either compatriot Dickson Chumba or Ethiopia’s Lelisa Desisa, who are joint second with on 34 points each.

A win attracts 25 points. Kenya’s Mary Keitany and Ethiopia’s Mare Dibaba are joint top in the women’s leaderboard with 41 points each followed by Tigist Tufa and Birhane Dibaba, both on 34 points while world marathon silver medalist is fifth with 32 points.

The WMM determines the world’s best male and female marathoners, awarding a $1m (Sh102m) prize purse split evenly by the men’s and women’s champions.

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