Kipchoge’s in a class of his own
It’s only a matter of time before Kenyan breaks world record, possibly cracks two hours
AFTER winning the Berlin Marathon for the second time in three years, Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge was in a reflective mood on Monday as he offered an assessment of the race’s 44th edition.
“Planning to run a marathon is like life, anything can happen,” Kipchoge said.
“You can run fast today and tomorrow you run slow.”
Just about everything did happen at the IAAF Gold Label race on Sunday but hardly in the way most fans of the sport would have expected.
Kipchoge’s two main rivals, Kenenisa Bekele and Wilson Kipsang, failed to finish.
Kipchoge himself was challenged and even overtaken, albeit briefly, in the closing stages by Ethiopia’s marathon debutant Guye Adola, who then finished as the second fastest of all time in his country’s rankings.
All would have required crystal ball gazing of the highest order.
Through every twist and turn of the race, one constant factor was
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 29 Kipchoge’s remorseless progress. No matter the wet conditions which put paid to hopes of a world record, the Kenyan switched his mission target to concentrate on adding to the title won here in 2015.
Time and again, whether it has been in winning the Olympic Games title in Rio last year or capturing the top prizes in London, Berlin, Chicago and Hamburg, he has displayed a strength of will which is distinctive.
In retrospect, he believes the experience of going so close to breaking two hours for the marathon distance on Monza’s Formula One circuit in early May has strengthened him both mentally and physically.
He believes that process will boost future efforts to make marathon history.
“It gave me a lot of strength mentally, especially when I crossed the finish line and looked up and saw the clock showing two hours and 25 seconds, and I knew I was running against the unthinkable.”
The topic of when, or if, the twohour barrier for the marathon can be broken has been hotly debated.
Lukaku’s departure to Manchester United has created an attacking vacancy and after finding the net in the mid-week League Cup win over Sunderland, Niasse came off the bench to score twice and earn Koeman’s men a 2-1 win over Bournemouth. MOHAMED SALAH (Liverpool): Salah continued his fine start to football life at Liverpool by scoring his sixth goal in nine appearances in an entertaining 3-2 victory at What is clear is that Kipchoge continues to believe that he can
Leicester City. The Egypt winger squandered a solid opportunity by shooting wide after Emre Can’s shot came back off the post, but he atoned in the 15th minute by putting Liverpool ahead with a powerful back-post header from Philippe Coutinho’s cross. SERGE AURIER (Tottenham Hotspur): Former Paris SaintGermain right-back Aurier had a full English Premier League debut to forget as he was sent off in break the current world record of 2:02.57 set by his fellow Kenyan Dennis Kimetto in Berlin in 2014.
A return to the German capital – the race is scheduled for September 16 next year – for a third attempt is very much part of his plans.
“Absolutely, I would like to come back and try for the world record next time. I had come here to break the world record but the weather changed my plans.”
It’s likely that next year, without a global marathon championship, the pursuit of the world record will intensify.
Whether he’s being primed to challenge both clock and rivals in a big city marathon or aim for championship titles beyond 2018, Kipchoge clearly believes he will remain a marathon force for some time to come.
“Absolutely, I have still good marathons in my legs, there’s no doubt about that.”
In an enthralling race, Kipchoge staved off a surprise challenge from Adola but missed out on his bid to set a new world record.
Prior to the race, Kipchoge, fellow Kenyan Kipsang and
Tottenham’s 3-2 win at West Ham United. Booked in the 64th minute for tripping up Andy Carroll, the Ivory Coast international was shown the red card six minutes later after launching himself into a wild and unnecessary challenge on the same player. Ethiopia’s Bekele had all set their sights on breaking Kimetto’s leading marathon mark along the flat inner-city course.
Instead, Kipchoge ended up becoming embroiled in a classic tussle with the 26-year-old Adola, making his marathon debut, and needed until the 41st kilometre of the damp course to shake off his last surviving rival and cross the line in 2:03.32.
Adola finished 14 seconds adrift of the winner, with his Ethiopian compatriot Mosinet Geremew finishing third in 2:06.09.
Kipchoge’s victory was his second in Berlin, while Gladys Cherono helped recreate the roll of honour from 2015, with the Kenyan winning the women’s race in 2:20.23 to also record a second win in the event.
“I am happy to have run this race. The conditions were not friendly because of the rain,” Kipchoge told reporters.
“Luckily there was not strong wind.
“I didn’t expect Adolo but I am happy for him. This is sport.” – ANA and Reuters
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