Mutai makes early case for Paris Olympics

Mutai crosses the finishing line in Venice. PHOTO/COURTSEY 

What you need to know:

Mutai has now missed four major championships since representing Uganda at the 2019 Doha Worlds in Qatar. And, that’s unlike from a man who hadn’t missed any between 2014 and 2019.

Solomon Mutai has had his fair share of misses during his decade-long career of marathon running.

Early this year, he missed completing the Barcelona Marathon in Spain back in March and an attempt again at the Rabat Marathon in Morocco didn’t get him a slot to the Budapest World Athletics Championships.

Mutai has now missed four major championships since representing Uganda at the 2019 Doha Worlds in Qatar. And, that’s unlike from a man who hadn’t missed any between 2014 and 2019.

On Sunday however, Mutai made an early case for the Paris 2024 Olympics after he presented himself with a perfect 31st birthday gift by retaining the Venice Marathon title in Italy.

He powered to victory in a time of two hours, seven minutes and 41 seconds, to beat his previous course record time of 2:8:10 set a year ago.

“The race was good,” Mutai told this paper via phone. “And I thank God for everything,” the calm runner stated.

After the marathons in spring, Mutai shifted his training base, moving from Iten, Kenya back to Bukwo and by opting to return to Venice, it all worked out.

“The weather was promising, it was good. I’m very happy for returning back and train in Bukwo, I have seen the changes,” he added.

Mutai is now the fourth male Ugandan marathoner to qualify to beat the qualifying standard of 2:08:10 for the Paris Games next summer during the window open from November 1, 2022 until April 30, 2024.

His time is bettered by three others yet Uganda has only three quota marathon slots in Paris next year. It implies Mutai will have to run another 42km race early next year to improve his chances.

Meanwhile, another Ugandan Filex Chemongesi overcame tough terrain to finish second at the Antwerp Marathon in Belgium.

The former national record holder posted a time of 2:14:12 behind Kenyan Vincent Rono. “Second place on a challenging course is ok,” said Chemongesi’s manager Jurrie van der Velden, “Time is not relevant due to course situation,” he added.

The race for marathon tickets to Paris will get tighter when Joshua Cheptegei joins it in early December.



1 Solomon Mutai (UGA)      2:07:40

2 Emmanuel Naibei (KEN)     2:07:3

3 Noah Kigen (KEN)              2:08:17


1 Vincent Rono (KEN)           2:13:06

2 Filex Chemongesi (UGA) 2:14:12

3 John Langat (KEN)             2:14:51


1 Victor Kiplangat (Osaka Marathon, 2nd, 2:06:03 on Feb 26, 2023)

2 Andrew Kwemoi (Milan Marathon, 1st, 2:07:14 on Apr 2, 2023)

3 Stephen Kissa (Tokyo Marathon, 11th, 2:07:16, Mar 5, 2023)

4 Solomon Mutai (Venice Marathon, 1st, 2:07:41, Oct 22, 2023)

Entry Standard: 2:08:10, Qualifying window: Nov 1, 2022 - Apr 30, 2024


Full name: Solomon Munyo Mutai

Date of Birth: Oct 22, 1992

Home town: Bukwo

Main Event: Marathon

Personal Best: 2:07:41

Manager: Giani Damadona (Italian)

Coaches: Alex Malinga, Gabriele Rosa

Kit Sponsor: Adidas

Major Honours: 2015 World marathon bronze, 2018 Commonwealth marathon silver


2013 Mombasa Marathon - 1st (2:14:21)

2014 Commonwealth Games - 4th (2:12:26)

2014 Hainan Danzhou Marathon - 3rd (2:12:59)

2015 Hannover Marathon - 5th (2:10:42)

2015 Beijing Worlds Champs - 3rd (2:13:30)

2016 Lake Biwa Marathon - 11th (2:14:57)

2016 Rio Olympics - 8th (2:11:49)

2017 Lake Biwa Marathon - 3rd (2:09:59)

2017 London World Champs - 11th (2:13:29)

2018 Commonwealth Games - 2nd (2:19:02)

2018 Shanghai Marathon - 6th (2:09:27)

2019 Vienna Marathon - 3rd (2:08:25)

2019 Doha World Champs - DNF

2019 Singapore Marathon - 2nd (2:19:48)

2021 Xiamen Marathon - DNF

2021 Istanbul Marathon - 3rd (2:10:25)

2022 Enschede Marathon - 6th (2:11:01)

2022 Venice Marathon - 1st (2:08:10)

2023 Barcelona Marathon - DNF

2023 Rabat Marathon - 4th (2:10:22)

2023 Venice Marathon - 1st (2:07:41)