Kipchoge to skip Doha 2019 in a bid to break 2-hour barrier

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Eliud Kipchoge competing in 2008. Photo: Michiel Jelijs via Flickr

Newly crowned London marathon winner, Eliud Kipchoge, has announced that he will not be competing at this year’s IAAF World Championships in Doha which starts on 28th September.
Barely a week after setting the second faster time in history for the marathon in London, he pledges to attempt to break the mythical sub-2 hour mark for the marathon in a specially curated race labelled the “INEOS 1:59 Challenge” that will take place in late September/early October. With the announcement aligning perfectly with the 65th anniversary of Sir Roger Bannister’s sub-four-minute-mile, which was initially deemed impossible, Kipchoge too wants to attempt the unimaginable.

Although the time and location of this race have yet to be confirmed, London is the likely host, with chemical company and recent Team Sky Cycling replacement, Ineos, keen to sponsor.  Event organisers are on the hunt for the most appropriate flat looped circuit, suitable to host such a historic and revolutionary event. Unofficially just 25 seconds shy of the 2 hour mark for the 26.2 miles, Kipchoge wants to be the first man in history to see that “1” over the finish line. Deeming his Monza clocking back in 2017 as the proudest moment in his career, the world record holder wants to go that extra mile.

His current official world record stands at 2:01.39, which he set at the Berlin Marathon last September, and his attempt almost a year late in autumn this year could quite possibly be minutes quicker. With event organisers labelling him the finest marathon runner the world has ever seen, they believe he’s the only man for the job.


However, this attempt means that he’ll  have to miss the World Championships, as a gold medal in Doha comes second to attempting the unthinkable, and quite rightly so. Therefore, Geoffrey Kirui now heads up the Kenyan men’s marathon team set for Doha, with two-time title holder, Edna Kiplagat, leading the way for the ladies.

The header image on this article has been used in accordance with the under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license


First published on: 7 May, 2019 4:41 pm

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