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Kipchoge will soon run sub 2hrs, Kirwa

Tuesday, September 27th, 2022 05:30 | By
Eliud Kipchoge. PHOTO/Courtesy.

Veteran athletics coach Julius Kirwa believes that legendary marathoner Eliud Kipchoge could have easily clocked a sub two hours mark at Sundays Berlin marathon where he lowered his own world record, slashing it by 30 second as he crossed the finish line in 2:01:09.

It was the fourth time Kipchoge 37, won the Berlin Marathon race, having broken the world record in the 2018 edition. He ran a sub two hours in October 2019 in Vienna, Austria, but the feat was not ratified since it was not a normal race.

“Eliud could have lowered the time further in Berlin. He was running very well, I was following the race and at the 21 kilometers mark, I was very convinced that he was going to clock less than two hours at the finish line, however, he somehow slowed down after 37 kilometers,” Kirwa told People Sport.

He added: “I’m sure that he would return to achieve the mark very soon. Age is nothing, in fact I think he is getting better as the days go by. He is very focused, disciplined and works extremely hard in quest to achieve his goals and that would be his driving force as he seeks to improve on his new record.”

Kirwa who started coaching Kipchoge at the junior level where he kicked off his colourful career with a gold medal at the 2002 World Cross Country Championships in Dublin, Ireland, says he has never doubted the runner who has now won a total of 15 marathons in his career.

“ I have coached Eliud from the junior level, then when he graduated to the senior level in cross country, 5,000m and 10,000m races and I have never doubted his capability. It’s only a matter of time before he lowers the new mark again,” Kirwa said.

At Berlin on Sunday, the two-time Olympic Champion had played down his chances of a world record in the build up.

“I am happy with my preparation and I think I was so fast because of the teamwork. Everything is down to teamwork,” he said.

“What motivates me is my family and I want to inspire young people. Sport unites people and that is what motivates me.”

On an overcast day in Berlin, Kipchoge, who has now won 15 of his 17 career marathons, ran the first half of the 26.2-mile race in 59 minutes, 51 seconds, prompting thoughts that he may become the first runner to break the two-hour mark in an official race

He has run a marathon in under two hours, in Vienna in 2019. However, that was not recognised as the official world record because it was not in open competition and he used a team of rotating pacemakers.

When asked whether he would attempt a sub-two hour run in Berlin next year, Kipchoge replied: “Let us plan for another day.

“I will celebrate this record and have to realise what happens. Just roll and see what happens.”

Andamlak Belihu was the only runner able to keep up with Kipchoge, who set a blistering pace from the start, but the Ethiopian dropped back around 17 miles into the race.

It is a fourth victory in Berlin for Kipchoge, matching Ethiopia great Haile Gebrselassie’s record.

Fellow Kenyan Mark Korir was second, four minutes and 49 seconds behind Kipchoge, with Ethiopian Tadu Abate third.

In the women’s race, Ethiopia’s Tigist Assefa ran the third fastest time in history to set a course record of 2:15.37.

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