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Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge to live crazy dream
in Berlin Marathon for new record

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya says he holds a crazy dream to be the fastest man in history, which he hopes will inspire his quest to shutter the world marathon record in Berlin on Sunday.

Kipchoge, 33, will be racing in his 10th marathon since he graduated from the track back in 2012. The London champion has only one loss in his career back in 2013 against compatriot Wilson Kipsang. He has won in Hamburg, Chicago, London, Rio (Olympics) and Berlin.

“It’s only a crazy dream until you do it. Don’t be the fastest runner in the world, but strive to be the fastest runner in history,” said Kipchoge on Monday in Nairobi.

Kipchoge will be running his fourth Berlin marathon on Sunday and has sounded out world marathon record holder Dennis Kimetto (2:02.57) saying he will be focused on lowering his personal best time, which is only eight seconds off the mark.

“Don’t ask if your dreams are crazy. Ask if they are crazy enough,” he added. “In Berlin the focus will be to improve on my personal best time of 2:03.05. Last year the weather was not good but I managed strongly to finish the race,” he said.

Kipchoge said he draws his inspiration from top sportsmen including footballer Victory Wanyama of Tettenham, tennis star Rafael Nadal and motorsports elites.

“I am inspired by our own Kenyan footballer Wanyama, (Lewis) Hamilton in Formula 1 and Lebron James from basketball. Wanyama however holds a better push in my career because in Kenya football is not at the top, but he has worked hard to excel. They have shown where talent and passion meets,” he said.

Kipchoge, who runs over 40km in his long runs on daily routine, believes many sportsmen cannot equal his endurance status and that it is what pushes him to do well in marathon career.

“Wanyama was shocked that I run 40km in one session. He told me in football match, they cover about 13km. We really get knowledge from each other, but they can’t believe that a normal human being can run 40km at once,” he added.

Now Kipchoge hopes the weather condition in Berlin will be favorable to him to cruise to a new height and cement his name as a marathon legend.

“My preparation is entirely concentrated on Berlin Marathon,” said Kipchoge, who has won nine of the 10 marathons he has contested to date. “I am confident I can beat my personal best on this fast course if conditions are good.”

Former world record-holder Wilson Kipsang will be another strong contender at this year’s Berlin Marathon. Now 36, the Kenyan set his world record time of 2:03:23 in Berlin in 2013 when Kipchoge finished second, the Kenyan’s only loss in a marathon to date. Zersenay Tadese will also be in Berlin.

The Eritrean has won five world half-marathon titles and holds the world record for the distance at 58:23.



Kenya’s Cheruiyot eyes New York marathon
conquest after Great North run victory

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Olympic champion Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya has warned her rivals to expect a brutal challenge when she lines up for the New York marathon run on Nov. 4.

Cheruiyot, 34, failed to finish the half marathon in New York in March with breathing problems, but reaffirmed her prowess when she went on to win in London marathon in a new personal best time.

Last Sunday, Cheruiyot stepped up her preparations for return to New York when she won the Great North run half marathon in Newcastle.

Cheruiyot, who finished second to Mary Keitany in 2017, went one better this year and sealed her first win since 2016, clocking 67 minutes 43 seconds ahead of Brigid Kosgei who finished second in 67:52 while Joyciline Jepkosgei completed the all-Kenyan trio, finishing third in 68:10.

“I am happy to be a winner and I am looking forward to return to Newcastle next year. The race was in preparation for New York marathon, to test myself. I now know where I am and I am going to train for my next marathon,” Cheruiyot said on Monday.

Cheruiyot, however, will be up against compatriot and three time winner Mary Keitany, Shalane Flanagan, the race defending champion and Boston Marathon champion Des Linden.

Others are Ethiopians and World Half Marathon champion Netsanet Gudeta and Mamitu Daska, who finished third in New York last year.

“It is always a pleasure to race against some of the world’s best runners because it brings out the best in you. I know the organizers in New York have assembled a big team of elite runners and I am excited to return to the U.S. soil,” said Cheruiyot.

However, there will be no love lost when Cheruiyot renew her rivalry with Keitany after beating her in the quest for London marathon in April.

“I was disappointed not to defend my title last year,” said Keitany. “However, I was not 100 percent healthy and Shalane ran a strong race.”

The Kenyan who struggled to finish the London race, after she pushed herself too much in quest to break the world record, will be timid in her pursuit for New York glory.


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