Kenya's double Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge recorded another big victory at the Tokyo Marathon in the fastest time ever run in Japan ©Getty Images

Kenya’s world record-holders Eliud Kipchoge and Brigid Kosgei won the Tokyo Marathon with dominant performances as they posted the fastest times ever run in Japan.

Kipchoge briefly took a wrong turn 10 kilometres into the 42.195km race but quickly recovered to win in 2 hours 02min 40sec, the fastest time ever run in marathon-mad Japan.

It was 61 seconds outside the world record Kipchoge had set in Berlin in 2018 but was the fourth-quickest ever run.

Kipchoge now owns three of the four fastest times in history.

The crucial point in the race came after 35km when Kipchoge pulled away from team-mate Amos Kipruto in a race that is part of the Abbot World Marathon Majors.

Kipruto crossed the line in 2:03:13, with Ethiopia’s Tamirat Tola a further 61 seconds back in 2:04:14 to claim victory in a race that did not take place last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The previous fastest time in Japan had been set by Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich in 2017, when he ran 2:03:58.

Double Olympic champion Kipchoge was ahead of world record schedule in the early stages but lost about 10 to 15 seconds when he was part of a lead group which took a wrong turn.

Kipchoge did not allow the mishap to ruin his race and ground out the miles as all his challengers fell by the wayside, including Ethiopia’s Mosinet Gerenew, the fourth-fastest marathon runner in history, who dropped out after 25km.

For the 37-year-old, it meant he finally got to savour victory in Tokyo after last year’s marathon at the re-arranged Olympic Games was moved more than a 1,000km away from the Japanese capital to Sapporo to avoid the heat.

Kipchoge had previously triumphed four times in the London Marathon, three times in Berlin and he has one win in Chicago.

Only the Boston Marathon and New York City Marathons now remain in his sights to complete the grand slam of World Marathon Major victories.

"Today I'm very happy," Kipchoge said after winning a race that allowed more than 25,000 runners to take part alongside the elite. 

"After winning my second Olympic Gold medal in Japan last summer, I returned to Tokyo to run a strong race.

"This is what I meant with a strong race, 2:02 victory and new course record.

"I'm proud to now have won four out of the six Abbott World Marathon Major races."

Kipchoge also used the platform to appeal for peace in Ukraine.

"Finally, I want to say I want this world to unite," he said.

"If there are differences, I want us to meet and speak, not fight.

"My win today is to bring positivity in this world."

Brigid Kosgei, defeated in her last two races, including the Olympic Games, bounced back to win the Tokyo Marathon ©YouTube
Brigid Kosgei, defeated in her last two races, including the Olympic Games, bounced back to win the Tokyo Marathon ©YouTube

In the women’s race, Kosgei was looking to bounce back from her disappointment at failing to win the gold medal at the Olympics and fourth place finish at the London Marathon in October.

Kosgei had gone into the Olympic race as a big favourite but had to settle for the silver medal behind team-mate Peres Jepchirchir.

Today, Kosgei led from gun to tape to cross the line in 2:16:02, nearly two minutes ahead of Ethiopia’s Ashete Bekere, who finished in 2:17:02.

The time by the 28-year-old Kosgei was the third-fastest in history behind only her own world record of 2:14:04, set in Chicago in 2019, and Britain’s Paula Radcliffe, who ran 2:15:25 in London in 2003.

Bekere’s was the fifth-best ever.

The previous best time by a woman in Japan was Israel’s Lonah Chemtai Salpeter, who ran 2:17:45 to win this race in 2020.  

Double Paralympic gold medallist and world record holder Marcel Hug of Switzerland won the men’s wheelchair race in a course record time of 1:22:16.

Japan’s Tsubasa Kina won the women’s wheelchair race in 1:40:21, just off the course record she set in 2020.