Mammoth support for Kipchoge in INEOS 1:59 Challenge in Vienna on Saturday

Source: Xinhua| 2019-10-10 20:08:14|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge poses for photos during his press conference in Vienna, Austria, on Oct. 10, 2019, prior to his attempt to break the two-hour barrier on the October 12 marathon in Vienna. (Xinhua/Guo Chen)

NAIROBI, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge has given his fans and Kenyans, in general, a chance to dream of how fast a man can run a marathon.

Never before has the country come together to celebrate an athlete's attempt to make history like is the case today, as Kipchoge plans to launch his bid to prove man is not limited by becoming the first to run the 42km marathon in Vienna, Austria on Saturday.

"No human is limited is in my heart and in my blood. I live this belief every day," Kipchoge said prior to his departure to Vienna.

Organizers of his race dubbed the INEOS 1:59 have confirmed that Kipchoge's sub-two hours marathon attempt will take place on Saturday with the official start time to be confirmed on Friday, but it will be between 6 -10 a.m. East Africa time.

Kenyan corporates have come out in large numbers to pledge their support to Kipchoge, including Isuzu East Africa, Safaricom Mpesa, local supermarkets and Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) which had a special salute for Kipchoge as his private jet taxed off the runway at the Airport in Nairobi on Monday.

World half-marathon record holder Geoffrey Kamworor, who trains together with Kipchoge, said he believes his mentor will write a new chapter of history on Saturday.

"Eliud you are my mentor, my training partner and my teammate. You trained and prepared well, go confidently in the direction of your dreams. I don't have any doubt you will deliver, my brother. All the best for the INEOS 1:59 Challenge," said Kamworor on Thursday in Nairobi.

Victor Wanyama, Kenya football team Harambee Stars captain and midfielder for Tottenham club in England, said he believes in the ability for Kipchoge to set history.

"Let me take this opportunity to wish my friend and countryman Kipchoge the best in the INEOS 1:59 Challenge in Vienna. I believe you in your capability and know you will run that marathon in 1:59 brother," said Wanyama.

Former Arsenal captain and current Nice Football Club manager in French Ligue 1, Patrick Vieira urged Kipchoge to go for the record. "There are no limits, nothing is impossible," said Vieira. "I believe too that no human is limited."

Bernard Lagat, a five-time Olympian and World Champion who will be one of the 41 pacesetters for Kipchoge, says it's an amazing challenge knowing that only two people have come close to the world record of 2:01.39.

Kipchoge clocked two hours and 25 seconds record in Monza, Italy in 2017 and Kenenisa Bekele who won Berlin marathon last month clocking 2:01.41, just two seconds off Kipchoge's world record of two hours, one minute and 39 seconds.

"When Eliud steps on that starting line he will be confident. Nobody has come closer to the record and you must have talent, the drive and hard work. I believe history will be made and this is the right time," said Lagat.

Kenya's Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed says Kipchoge will raise the bar and encourage so many challenged by their inefficiencies to attain their goals.

"Kipchoge will likely tip the scales of marathon time by completing it in less than two hours, a fete not achieved by any athlete ever. He will redefine marathon running in a way before, unimagined," said Mohamed.

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