Kipchoge and Kosgei headline star-studded Kenya Olympic marathon team

The African nation has named two world record holders among their ranks for the Tokyo 2020 races in Sapporo.

Eliud Kipchoge will defend his Olympic marathon title at Tokyo 2020.

The 35-year-old, who won the gold medal at the Rio 2016 Games, was named in a strong line-up by Athletics Kenya on Friday, with fellow world record holder Brigid Kosgei included in the women's event for the races in Sapporo.

Kipchoge takes first Olympic gold in the Rio rain

Kipchoge takes first Olympic gold in the Rio rain

Kipchoge in good company

Despite his advancing years, Kipchoge will once again be the men's favourite in Japan, having won 11 of the 12 official marathons he has ever run.

In addition to his Olympic gold and world record of 2:01:39 in Berlin, the Kapsisiywa-born runner also boasts an unofficial sub-two hour mark, along with a string of prestigious, big-city victories.

Elsewhere in the Kenyan men's team, world marathon bronze medallist Amos Kipruto, and Boston and Chicago Marathon champion Lawrence Cherono have also made the cut.

The men's reserve spots go to 2019 Tokyo Marathon runner-up Bedan Karoki, and Honolulu Marathon winner Titus Ekiru.

How to run a fast marathon... according to world record holder Eliud Kipchoge

How to run a fast marathon... according to world record holder Eliud Kipchoge

Kenyan champions in women's race

Kosgei will be joined in the women's line-up by world marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich and the 2018 London Marathon champion Vivian Cheruiyot.

The women's replacements are 2019 Frankfurt Marathon champion Valary Aiyabei, and former 3000m World Youth champion Sally Chepyego.

Kenyan women's Olympic gold medallist from Rio 2016 Jemima Sumgong was not considered for selection, having been suspended for eight years from January 2019 for doping offences and fabricating medical records.

The marathon events at Tokyo 2020 will take place in the 1972 Winter Olympics host city of Sapporo, on the island of Hokkaido.

The decision was taken in order to avoid the intense summer head of Japan's capital during this period.

The 42.2 km women’s race will start at 7am local time on the penultimate day of the Games (August 8), while the men's race will begin at the same time a day later.

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