Kipchoge finishes 10th as Kipruto wins Tokyo Marathon. GETTY IMAGES

"Not every day is Christmas," said Kenya's double Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge after suffering a setback in his preparations for the Paris Games when he finished 10th behind winner Benson Kipruto in Sunday's Tokyo Marathon. Kebede won the women's race, followed by Rosemary Wanjiru and Amane Beriso Shankule. Sifan Hassan was fourth.

The 39-year-old Kipchoge faded badly at around the 20km mark and finished line 10th in 2h:06:50. Kenya's Kipruto secured victory with a course record of 2h:02:16, ahead of compatriots Timothy Kiplagat (2h:02:55) and Vincent Ngetich (2h:04:18). 

The race took place less than a month after the tragic death of world record holder Kelvin Kiptum in a car accident in Kenya. Kipchoge, who is aiming for a third consecutive Olympic marathon gold later this year, expressed uncertainty about his form for the Paris Games, saying it was too early to tell. 

"That's the way it is - not every day is Christmas Day," he told Japan's Nippon TV. "Something happened in the middle of the race. I will go back, relax and start training," Kipruto said, without giving further details.

Kipruto took over the lead from Kiplagat at 30km mark and roared to the finish to set a new personal best and the eighth-fastest time in history. "I didn't know we were on a world record pace - there was no problem, we were ready for it," said the 32-year-old. Asked about the possibility of becoming the first athlete to run a marathon in less than two hours, Kipruto replied: "Nothing is impossible."

Ethiopia's Sutume Asefa Kebede won the women's race in 2h:15:55 - also a course record. Kenya's defending champion Rosemary Wanjiru (2h:16:14) was second ahead of Ethiopia's reigning World champion Amane Beriso Shankule (2h:16:58). Ethiopian-born Sifan Hassan, running for the Netherlands, was fourth in 2:18:05.

Kebede shaved over two minutes off her personal best and secured the 10th fastest women's time in history. "I managed to set a new course record, which surprised me," she said.

Hassan, an Olympic gold medallist in both the 5,000m and 10,000m, was competing in only her third marathon. She had won her previous two races in London and Chicago. "It doesn't change my Olympics. I know what shape I'm in and it really doesn't matter. I learned a lot," she said of her fourth-place finish.