Kenya's Kipchoge aims to break sub 'two-hour' marathon time

Kenyan world record holder Eliud Kipchoge is to make another attempt at breaking two hours for the marathon later this year, probably in Britain, in a project backed by Jim Ratcliffe, the billionaire owner of chemical firm INEOS.



Kipchoge ran two hours and 25 seconds in his “Breaking Two” project on Italy’s Monza motor racing circuit in 2017, though the time was not ratified for record purposes as he used “in and out” pacemakers and a moving drinks station.



Last year he lowered the legal world record by an astonishing 78 seconds when posting 2:01.39 in Berlin and last week ran the second-fastest time in history when winning the London marathon in 2:02.37.



Sending a message



With an Olympic marathon gold and an amazing record of 11 wins from 12 races over the 26.2 mile distance, breaking two hours would appear to be the only thing missing from the CV of a man ranked among the greatest his sport has seen.



“This would really surpass everything because this will go in the history as far as the human family is concerned,” Kipchoge said when announcing the bid at the Iffley Road running track in Oxford where Briton Roger Bannister became the first man to break four minutes for the mile 65 years ago on Monday.



“It is not about recognition or ratification but to make history and to pass on a message that no human is limited. Running the fastest-ever marathon of 2:00.25 was the proudest moment of my career.”



There are still many details to be ironed out for the new attempt, labeled “The 1.59 Challenge” though it is likely to be in September or October on a two or three-km circuit course, probably in Britain and possibly in one of London’s Royal parks.



It will again be un-ratified as the Kenyan will use a phalanx of pacemakers who run a number of laps, dipping in and out so that they can maintain the phenomenal two minute, 50 seconds per km pace necessary.



Although Nike is not spearheading the attempt as it did in Monza, Kipchoge, 34, will again wear their somewhat controversial carbon-insoled Vaporfly shoes that Nike says improve running economy by up to four percent.



The shoes have been passed legal by the sport’s governing body the IAAF, though some critics say they give such an advantage that without them Kipchoge would be a “routine” 2.03/04 performer.



The shoes, pacemakers, apparel, wind-blocking paceclock car and rolling drinks stations helped take Kipchoge agonizingly close in Monza and he says the lessons learned then will make him even more likely to pull off a feat that would undoubtedly rank at the very top of human sporting achievement.



Changing mentality



Most importantly, Kipchoge said, has been a change in mentality as, having come so close there and subsequently massively improved his best legal time, he now fully believes he is capable of maintaining the necessary pace.



Ratcliffe, 66 and a keen runner for decades, said that the missing link could be a crowd to watch and encourage, after the Monza attempt took place in front of a handful of media, sponsors and associates.



“If Eliud has got a fantastic crowd cheering him on, it’s going to make a bit of difference and we don’t need to make a lot of difference to make up 26 seconds,” he said.



“I was in the pace car in front of Eliud for the London Marathon and he was looking very serene and comfortable. He’s still getting better.”



Ratcliffe has taken over ownership of cycling’s former Team Sky, funded Ben Ainslie’s 2021 America’s Cup sailing challenge and owns Swiss soccer club Lausanne Sport.



“It’s good fun. We make billions in profits so what’s wrong with investing a bit of that in sport, in good challenges, good people?,” he said.



“Eliud is the finest marathon runner there has ever been and I think it will be very inspirational, to get kids putting running shoes on.



“It would be an extraordinary achievement. It’s almost super-human, isn’t it really? To break two hours in a marathon is quite unthinkable.”

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2019 CAF Super Cup final: Egypt's Zamalek beat Tunisia's Esperance

Egyptian side Zamalek are the 2019 Super Cup winners after beating Tunisian side Esperance by three goals to one in a final played in Doha, Qatar.

Egyptian side Zamalek are the 2019 Super Cup winners after beating Tunisian side Esperance by three goals to one in a final played in Doha, Qatar.

The CAF Super Cup is a face-off between the holder of the Champions League title and winner of the Confederation Cup.

This clash was scheduled for last August but was postponed to February 14. This is the second time the African Super Cup is being held in Doha. This is Zamalek’s fourth title after they won it in 2003, 1997 and 1994.

Zamalek’s Youssef Obama struck very early in the game to give his side the lead. The Tunisians hit back early in the second half when Abdelraouf Benguit equalized through a penalty.

Achraf Bencharki put Zamalek in the lead again before increasing the tally to secure the results. The winning coach made history as the first ever to win the Super Cup in two consecutive years with two different sides.

Esperance had aimed to win the trophy for the second time since 1995, but it was the Egyptians who bagged their first trophy after a 17-year drought.

Football: Congo to boost national selections

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Over twenty players were screened during the three day event.

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IOC president receives original 1892 Olympics manifesto after $9.6m auction

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The document was given to him by Russian billionaire Alisher Ousmanov, President of the International Fencing Federation. The Russian acquired the manifesto for 8.8 million euros at an auction in New York last December.

Thomas Bach, IOC president speaking at the event said: “It is a day of great emotion because today we receive, at home, the founding document of the Olympic Movement and the Olympic Games.

“This is how it all began with the re-establishment of the Olympic Games, so you cannot overestimate the meaning and importance of this speech by Pierre de Coubertin and you cannot overestimate the effect. And thank you, Mr. Ousmanov. This document goes back home to the Olympic Museum and the IOC.”

The businessman guru, Alisher Ousmanov is interested in sports and keen about Russia’s concerns with the World Anti-Doping Agency, WADA.

In December, he denounced the WADA move against the “lynching” of his country, excluded for 4 years from the Olympic Games.

CHAN 2020: Cameroon to intensify preps in Congo with two international friendlies

Host nation Cameroon intensify preparations ahead of the African nations champions as the team has won all preparatory matches along the way and barely over a month to the start of the competition, te

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Inter Milan goes top of the serie A after dominating eternal rivals AC Milan 4-2 on Sunday, while Juventus lost 2-1 to Lecce. Dortmund were stunned by Leverkusen in Germany while PSG kept the faith, dismissing Lyon 4-2 on Sunday.

Algeria’s Islam Slimani got a late winner for Monaco as they travelled to Amiens, while Nigeria’s Moses Simon and Victor Osimhen both scored goals in the French Ligue 1 plus other Africans who made headlines over the weekend  .

Audit report unearths gross misappropriation of funds at CAF

CAF president Ahmad Ahmad who was briefly detained and questioned by French Police last year has denied accusations of pervasive corruption at the organisation.

An independent probe into the running of the Confederation of African Football, CAF, has revealed elements of misappropriation of the body’s finances.

The report by auditing firm Price Waterhouse Cooper (PWC), was highly critical of how the organisation’s finances had been managed, Reuters reported on Sunday.

The report cites some 40 payments totaling $10m. It says 14 of those payments amounting to $4.6m had irregular or no supporting documentation.

The investigation started when FIFA took over management of CAF last year following a string of corruption scandals. Last Monday, the organisation announced it was ending its intervention into the management of CAF.

CAF president Ahmad Ahmad who was briefly detained and questioned by French Police last year has denied accusations of pervasive corruption at the organisation.

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