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The African long distance runner has become the greatest reference of this specialty worldwide. He has won 11 of the 12 marathons in which he has participated
What do athletes like Lionel Messi, Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, Roger Federer, Michael Jordan, Baby Ruth, Michael Schumacher and Mohammed Ali have in common? All, thanks to their talent and sacrifice, became historical references within their respective disciplines. Eliud Kipchoge, recently four times champion of the London Marathon, seems to be reaching that status.
Leer en español: Eliud Kipchoge: ¿el nuevo icono del deporte universal?
What is the story behind this splendid Kenyan athlete? And above all, what are the next challenges in his career? These are two questions worth analyzing and to which Latin Amercian Post will give you the answers.
A humble origin
It is no secret to anyone that in Kenya and, in general, in a large part of the African continent, poverty reigns and the family of Eliud Kipchoge did not escape from this reality. According to El Clarín, as a child, Kipchoge jogged every day to school. He is the youngest of four brothers, he grew up in Kapsisiywa, a small village. His mother was a teacher and his father died when he was little.
El Clarín continues: "After finishing school, Kipchoge helped support his family by gathering milk from his neighbors and selling it in the market. Of course, without ever stopping running, and very close to Patrick Sang, a figure of the track and field of Kenya that he met when he was just 16, and who, seeing his immeasurable talent, guided him to take his first steps in athletics".
An unprecedented 'recordman'
However, what came after early years was an unprecedented event. The promotion of Kipchoge included a world championship in 2003 and, a year later in Athens, with just 18 years old, a pair of Olympic medals in the 5 thousand meters: bronze in 2004 and silver in 2008.
Although to tell the truth, it was in 2013, when Kipchoge decided to change his running modality completely, that his life would take a 180 degree turn. The Diario As points out that he has been so successful that out of the 12 marathons in which he has participated he has won in 11 among them: four victories in London, the gold of the Rio Olympics, a thunderous world record (Berlin) and a second place as a worse result.
"Kipchoge is the first human being to run the 42 kilometers and 195 meters with a time of two hours, one minute and 39 seconds. The unprecedented thing is that the Kenyan downgraded, pulverized, destroyed the previous record, that he was very close to beating again in London and promised to continue trying in future presentations," says As.
Discipline: the key to his success
However, the most surprising thing about Eliud is that, unlike many current sports stars, the way he leads his life and training is totally far from comfort. He trains with younger athletes over 2400 meters on dirt roads in the town of Villa Rift in northern Kenya, conditions his mind and body without luxuries, washes his clothes every day and even clean the bathrooms of his home when it is his turn. These secrets, according to him, in an interview of the newspaper El País, have led him to achieve so many good results.
"Without a doubt, the key is to love this sport. My life is running, I can not imagine anything else. However, discipline is fundamental. Being tidy on a day to day basis and live life with tranquility, without excesses "
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To answer what is coming in the life of Kipchoge, the own marathon runner assured Marca that, although from now on he must be more selective with his careers because of his age (35 years), his intentions are to win the six majors of the marathon (he already won London, Berlin and Chicago) and to defend his Olympic gold; objectives for which you need extraordinary preparation. "I want to run the Six Majors before I retire, I want to win in Tokyo, Boston and New York and I'm going to prepare for it."
LatinAmerican Post | Freddy Gonzales
Translated from "Eliud Kipchoge: ¿el nuevo icono del deporte universal?"