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History maker! Kenya's Kipchoge busts two-hour marathon barrier

The Olympic champion becomes the first-ever athlete to run a sub two-hour marathon.

Kipchoge made history on Saturday morning.
Kipchoge made history on Saturday morning.
Image: Ronald Zak

KENYA’S ELIUD KIPCHOGE has busted the mythical two-hour marathon barrier with a super-human performance on a specially prepared 26.2 mile course on the streets of Vienna this morning.

With a time of 1hr 59min 40.2sec, the Olympic champion became the first-ever to run a marathon in under two hours as he made history in Austria. 

The 34-year-old already holds the men’s world record for the distance with a time of 2hr 01min 39sec, which he set in the flat Berlin marathon on 16 September 2018.

But accompanied by a posse of 41 pacemakers and a car in front of them setting the pace, Kipchoge bested that mark, making good on a failed attempt two years ago in Monza, Italy.

“I am the first man – I want to inspire many people, that no human is limited,” he said, barely out of breath. 

“We can make this world a beautiful world and a peaceful world. My wife and three children, I am happy for them to come and witness history.”

Maintaining a very regular pace at around 2:50 minutes per kilometre, he passed the finish line gesturing and smiling.

He had been 11 seconds in advance at mid-race as fans lining the course, many waving Kenyan flags, loudly cheered him on. 

Because of the way the run was set up and paced, the International Association of Athletics Federations will not validate the time as a world record.

The running surface had been partly retarred and readied with other features such as a banked corner that could save time and avoid injury.

Pacemakers took turns to support him throughout the 42.195-kilometre (26.219-miles) race. They included 1,500-metre Olympic champion Matthew Centrowitz and former world champion Bernard Lagat.

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The course included a 4.3 kilometre-long straight alley, which the Kenyan ran up and down several times amid dry but foggy weather, before making history amid incredible scenes in Vienna. 

© – AFP 2019

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