Athletics greats Kipchoge, Sotomayor urge athletes to pursue dreams

Source: Xinhua| 2020-05-22 23:20:34|Editor: huaxia

PARIS, May 22 (Xinhua) -- World marathon record-holder Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya compared the period of COVID-19 to an "uphill course" and Cuba's world high jump record holder Javier Sotomayor urged athletes not to lose sight of their dreams, as World Athletics shared their suggestions on its website on Friday.

"I'm a marathoner, and the marathon is like life," the world governing body of the sport cited Kipchoge in its column of "The New Normal: Life in the time of coronavirus".

"We have many courses in the world - flat courses, uphill and downhill - and this period of COVID-19 is like an uphill course, where we need to live in a slow way, in a positive way, in order to finish the race well," said the 35-year-old, who set his world record of 2:01:39 two years ago in Berlin and is still building towards the Tokyo Olympic Games next summer.

The 52-year-old Sotomayor urged athletes to keep pursuing their athletic dreams even as the lockdown, and lack of competitive opportunities, caused by the pandemic have made it increasingly difficult.

"While at home, any exercise, any physical activity will always benefit your body and that will bear fruit," he said. "Everything you do at home will be rewarded. To everyone that keeps going, that keeps thinking of their dreams and goals, who don't lose them because of what we're going through, they will come through this."

Sotomayor has held the world record since 1988. He set the current mark of 2.45m in 1993 and has remained involved in athletics after retirement, currently working as the secretary general of the Cuban Athletics Federation. Enditem