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Articles tagged #Eliud Kipchoge
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Eliud Kipchoge says the IOC and the Japanese government made the right decision to postpone the Tokyo Olympic Games and move it to 2021

Marathon great Eliud Kipchoge, who was due to defend his Olympics marathon title in the 2020 Tokyo Games later this year, said the decision by the IOC and the Japanese Government was the right one as the world battles to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

"All in all a very wise decision to postpone the Olympics until 2021. I look forward to come back to Japan to defend my Olympic title next year and look forward to witness a wonderful event. I wish everybody good health in these challenging times," the world marathon record holder tweeted.

Kipchoge, who is in the Kenyan men's marathon team along side Boston and Chicago marathons champion Lawrence Cherono and World Championships marathon bronze medalist Amos Kipruto, won the 2016 Rio Olympics gold medal in 2 hours 8 minutes 44 seconds.

Kipchoge became the first man to run the full marathon in under two hours after his 1:59:40.2 feat during the Ineos Challenge in Vienna last year.

Olympics javelin silver medalist Julius Yego also took to his Instagram account to express his views over the postponement of the Games to 2021.

"It's been all fun and smiles and happiness in preparation for this year's Tokyo Olympics but then the unexpected came!#Covid-19!! Terrible and scaring respiratory disease! But it's all upon us to compete against our dear opponents, we together on this fight to overcome the world pandemic, see you next year in Tokyo at the very least, stay safe and stay home," said Yego.

(03/26/2020) ⚡AMP
by Japheth Mutinda
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, from July 24 to August 9, 2020. The Games in 1964 radically transformed the country. According to the organizers of the event in 2020, the Games of the XXXII Olympiad of the modern era will be “the most innovative...

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World record marathon holder Eliud Kipchoge suffers loneliness at his running training

When he broke the two-hour barrier for the marathon in October, Eliud Kipchoge did not run alone, but now, as a diary he is recording reveals, he has no choice.

Kipchoge may be the only man to have broken two hours, but when he set the time in Vienna he ran with an echelon of pacemakers.

Now, as the first episode of "Eliud Kipchoge's Isolation Diary", makes clear, he is experiencing the loneliness of the long-distance runner.

The diary, recorded for the BBC, opens with the Kenyan rising from a kitchen chair with his tracksuit and running shoes on.

"It's now 6 o'clock," he says.

"This is now the third day since we broke up from the the camp due to coronavirus. It's really hard to train because I value teamwork. It's mutual interest because it helps me so much."

"I am trying to quarantine myself, stay with the family and make sure I don't actually mingle with a lot of people," he says.

"I am trying to keep more fit myself and wake up early at 6 o'clock and go for a run and make sure I stay fit," he adds.

"Good morning," he adds, waving, turning and heading on his own for open front door.

Outside it is dark and dogs can be heard barking.

(03/23/2020) ⚡AMP
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INEOS 1:59 Challenge

INEOS 1:59 Challenge

Mankind have constantly sought to reach new frontiers and to achieve the impossible. From Edmund Hillary reaching the summit of Mount Everest to Roger Bannister’s four-minute mile to Felix Baumgartner jumping from space we have frequently redefined the limits of human achievement and broken new barriers previously seen as simply impossible. After the four-minute mile and the ten second 100m...

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Somali-Belgian athlete Bashir Abdi sets sights on European record after sub-2:05 clocking in Tokyo

Bashir Abdi became only the second European athlete in history to break the 2:05-barrier for the marathon in the Tokyo Marathon on 1 March and he harbours aspirations of becoming the fastest.

The 31-year-old shattered his own national record with 2:04:49 to take the runner-up spot in the Japanese capital ahead of a prospective second successive Olympic appearance. And what is most remarkable about his ascent is he former amateur football player only started running at the age of 18.  

Abdi was born in the Somalian capital of Mogadishu and arrived in Belgium in 2002 at the age of 13. Back then running made no sense as he was a football addict. “As a kid I could not even understand why people would run in circles. Chasing a football made sense but skinny people running in circles did not at all. That was until I started running at the age of 18 and I have never regretted that decision”. 

Now Abdi is second on the European all-time marathon list with  2:04:49, his third consecutive Belgian record in only his fourth marathon after previous record runs in London (2:07:03) and Chicago (2:06:14) last year. Abdi came second in Tokyo, only 34 seconds behind Ethiopia’s Birhanu Legese, in a race which was devoid of the mass participation element due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

“I expected a finishing time around 2:05, because I have had the best preparation ever towards a marathon. My trainer Gary [Lough] made that very clear during the last weeks of altitude training in Sululta, Ethiopia. I was however surprised by the fact that I finished in second place in a World Marathon Major. To start with about 200 athletes in what normally is a race with 38,000 runners was a rather odd experience. It felt as if I was running a tiny street race in my hometown Ghent.” 

Abdi made his marathon debut back in April 2018 in Rotterdam with a solid 2:10:46 clocking despite bloodying his knees in a collision at the start. Now he is a sub-2:05 marathoner who is considered to be one of the outsiders to win a medal at the Olympic marathon in Sapporo.  

Abdi closed exceptionally quickly in the Chicago Marathon last October and he also ran faster than any other athlete in the Tokyo Marathon between the 35 kilometre checkpoint and the finish. His finish speed could be a great weapon at the Olympics.  

“I received wonderful reactions on my Tokyo performance, but for me finishing in the top eight would be great already. To my account there are six or seven runners that top the bill such as Eliud Kipchoge, Kenenisa Bekele and Birhanu Legese. I also doubt that I will be able to use the same tactics towards Sapporo, as I am not as experienced in the marathon, because I have had the benefit of pacers in my past four races. 

“The conditions will also be fairly different. Both Chicago and Tokyo were somehow similar to what I am used to in Belgium. Together with the Belgian Olympic Team we will prepare towards Sapporo as much as possible. Workouts in a heat chamber will be part of that preparation, combined with the usual altitude camp in Sululta” 

Abdi also has something else to look forward to during his build-up to the Olympics. In June he will become a father for the second time. His daughter Kadra celebrated her first birthday back in October. There is only one race on his schedule before Sapporo so far.   

“Becoming a father for the second time is something I am looking really forward to. I have a great wife who understands that sacrifices have to be made to perform at this level, especially in a year like this. Thanks to apps like Facetime and social media I am able to stay in touch with my family when I am on training camps. My baby daughter even recognises me thanks to social media, so it is somehow a blessing.  

2020 is all about the Olympics for Abdi but he is already thinking about the 2021 season - namely the Belgian half marathon record of 60:18 and more importantly the European marathon record of Kaan Kigen Ozbilen which stands at 2:04:16.   

(03/19/2020) ⚡AMP
by Quinten Lafort
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, from July 24 to August 9, 2020. The Games in 1964 radically transformed the country. According to the organizers of the event in 2020, the Games of the XXXII Olympiad of the modern era will be “the most innovative...

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Kipchoge and Bekele showdown to wait until October 4 in London

Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele (left) and Kenya's marathon world-record holder Eliud Kipchoge will have to wait until October 4 to face off.

The London Marathon scheduled to take place on April 26 has been postponed to October 4 due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The organisers made the announcement on Friday, with event director Hugh Brasher citing health as a priority as the world continues to battle with containing the virus.

“The world is in an unprecedented situation grappling with a global pandemic of COVID-19 and public health is everyone’s priority,” Brasher said.

World record-holder Eliud Kipchoge was among the first top athletes to react to the news of the cancellation of the marathon on social media, expressing his disappointment while still sharing a message of positivity.

"It is unfortunate news that the London Marathon has been postponed but I fully respect the decision made by the organization as safeguarding the health of the world always takes our top priority. To the thousands of runners who with me, have devoted the last months of our lives towards this goal I would like to say: Be proud of the work you have put into this journey, keep smiling and seek your next goal on the horizon to continue running in a smooth and positive way. I hope to share the starting line with you again soon," said Kipchoge. 

Eliud Kipchoge and Brigid Kosgei pose for a picture with Prince Harry while holding their awards in last year's marathon.

Kipchoge and Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele were set to go head to head in a contest for the ages, as was Kenya’s women's record-holder Brigid Kosgei.

Kipchoge broke the two-hour marathon barrier in Vienna last October in the INEOS 1:59 Challenge.

The marathon was intended to be an Olympic qualifying event for Team Great Britain. British Athletics said it would hold a separate marathon trial for the Tokyo Games “in a closed location, with limited numbers” potentially around April 25 to 27.

The Boston Marathon, another one of the six World Marathon Majors, has also been postponed to mid-September.

These developments come days after the Kenyan Ministry of Sports banned athletes from travelling to any international sports events for the next month following the global outbreak of Covid-19.

The decision to push this year’s London Marathon to October 4, means the race will now take place on the same day as the Cardiff Half Marathon.

Brasher, thanked every institution that came to support them during this time and expressed optimism of finding the best dates for future races.

“We are extremely grateful for all the support we have received from City Hall, the London boroughs of Greenwich, Lewisham, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, the City of Westminster and the City of London, Transport for London, the emergency services, the Royal Parks, BBC TV and many others as we worked to find an alternative date. The 40th race is scheduled to go ahead on Sunday, October 4, 2020.”

Here are the new major marathon schedules:

Boston Marathon – September 14

Berlin Marathon – September 27

London Marathon – October 4

Chicago Marathon – October 10

(03/15/2020) ⚡AMP
by Robert Abong’o
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...

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Cherono wary of long term effects coronavirus may cause

Long distance runner Lawrence Cherono is wary of the long term effects the coronavirus pandemic might have on global sports.

Speaking moments after the 124th Boston Marathon, scheduled for April 20, was postponed to September 14 due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, Cherono told Nation Sport that said it will be difficult for athletes to prepare adequately for 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games amid the cloud of uncertainty hanging over the Games.

Cherono, who is also the reigning Chicago Marathon champion, was due to defend his Boston title on April 20.

There are already fears that the Summer Games that are scheduled for July 24 to August 9 could also be postponed but the International Olympic Committee and the Games Local Organising Committee have affirmed that the event will continue as scheduled.

Men’s marathon, which will be the last race at the Olympics on August 8, has been moved from Tokyo to Sapporo for fear of the adverse weather in the Japanese capital.

Cherono, 31, had planned to use Boston Marathon as part of his preparations for Tokyo Olympics but with the coronavirus havoc, he will now have to halt his training until May.

“I had planned for only two marathons races this year and it’s disappointing. However, that is fate. One would rather stay healthy and look forward for the best than regret,” said Cherono, who is training in Eldoret under the Rosa Associati management.

“I really want to compete at the Olympics but we can only pray to God for everything to fall into place. We hope the virus will be contained by then,” said Cherono, adding that he will now take a break before resuming training.

Cherono has been picked alongside the reigning Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge and World marathon bronze medallist Amos Kipruto to represent Kenya at the Tokyo Games. Bedan Karoki and Titus Ekiru are the reserves.

 

(03/15/2020) ⚡AMP
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World record-holder Eliud Kipchoge disappointed by coronavirus outbreak after cancellation of London Marathon

World record-holder Eliud Kipchoge on Thursday took to social media to express his disappointment over the cancellation of the 2020 London Marathon amid coronavirus outbreak.

According to the event organizers, the 40th edition of the race, which was due to take place on April 26, will now be held on October 4.

Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele were among the men's elite names due to take part, as was women's record-holder Brigid Kosgei.

Following the postponement, the fastest marathon runner immediately expressed his disappointment, sharing a photo of himself crossing the line of the 2019 London Marathon, with a caption:

"It is unfortunate news that the @londonmarathon has been postponed but I fully respect the decision made by the organization as safeguarding the health of the world always takes our top priority.”

He also shared a message of positivity to all the runners disappointed by the news.

"To the thousands of runners who with me, have devoted the last months of our lives towards this goal I would like to say: Be proud of the work you have put into this journey, keep smiling and seek your next goal on the horizon to continue running in a smooth and positive way. I hope to share the starting line with you again soon," he added.

The decision comes three days after the Ministry of Sports banned Kenyan athletes from travelling to any international Sports events for the next 30 days following the global outbreak of Covid-19 (coronavirus).

Already a number of other high-profile sporting events, including marathons in Paris and Boston, have been called off due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

(03/14/2020) ⚡AMP
by Odero Charles
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...

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Groundwork Endurance has announced its partnership with Skechers for the 35th annual Carlsbad 5000 presented by National University

The global footwear company will serve as official footwear partner as well as title sponsor of the Skechers Performance Elite Invitational, the event’s iconic professional races, set to take place on Sunday, March 22, 2020.

“I am extremely excited that Skechers has officially joined forces with the Carlsbad 5000. Their dedication and commitment to the running community is unmatched and we look forward to working with their talented team to ensure that our 35th year is the best yet,” said Meb Keflezighi, co-owner of Carlsbad 5000 and longtime Skechers-sponsored athlete.

“We’re pleased to again join Meb and the Carlsbad 5000 organization as title sponsor of the iconic Elite Invitational race—especially since Edward Cheserek will attempt a repeat win,” said Michael Greenberg, president of Skechers. “This event is known as the world’s fastest 5K, so it’s a great opportunity to illustrate how our award-winning and innovative Skechers GO RUN footwear can help runners get their speed on.”

The event also announced that headlining the 2020 Skechers Performance Elite Invitational will be Kenya’s Edward Cheserek and Dejen Gebremeskel of Ethiopia. Cheserek, the defending Carlsbad 5000 champion and Skechers elite athlete, matched what was then the IAAF 5km road world record in a winning time of 13:29 at the 2019 Carlsbad 5000. The 17-time NCAA National Champion holds personal bests of 3:49.44 for the mile and 13:04.44 for 5,000 meters on the track. He recently ran a sub-4:00 mile, finishing second at the Camel City Elite Races with a time of 3:59.84.

“Winning the Carlsbad 5000 last year was an incredible experience and I am looking forward to racing again in March,” said Cheserek. “This event has everything you could want in a road race. The course is beautiful and the huge crowds make the atmosphere very special.”

Gebremeskel was a virtual unknown before arriving in Carlsbad for the first time in 2010, when he finished second to Eliud Kipchoge. His victory the following year sparked a four-year run of dominance at the event – the longest winning streak in its event history. He would also add a fifth win in 2017. In addition to his impressive success at the Carlsbad 5000, Gebremeskel has earned two world championship medals over 5000 meters, taking silver at the 2012 London Olympics and a bronze medal at the 2011 World Championships in Athletics.

“It’s fantastic that King Ches will be returning to Carlsbad after his record run last year. Defending his title won’t be easy with Dejen Gebremeskel in the field and we expect a battle for the ages at this year’s race!” said Keflezighi.

As the official footwear partner, Skechers will maintain a strong digital presence in the lead up to race week festivities and will host an interactive experience for participants and spectators at the Health & Wellness Expo over event weekend.

The Carlsbad 5000 will celebrate its 35th edition the weekend of March 21-22, 2020. Since 1986, the prestigious event has seen 17 World records and eight U.S. records, as well as numerous national and age group marks. The famous seaside course starts and finishes in downtown Carlsbad, taking runners past some of Southern California’s most scenic coastal views along the way. The full day of racing begins at 6:55am on Sunday, March 22 with events for all ages and abilities. At 12:00pm, the Skechers Performance Elite Invitational takes center stage as the world’s fastest pros compete for a substantial prize purse and pursue new records.

(03/03/2020) ⚡AMP
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Carlsbad 5000

Carlsbad 5000

The 2020 events were moved from March 22 to September 20 because of the Coronavirus. The Carlsbad 5000 features a fast and fun seaside course where 16 world records have been set. Both rookie runners and serious speedsters alike enjoy running or walking in one of seven people's races. The 35th running of the iconic Carlsbad 5000 presented by National...

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Kenenisa Bekele breaks Mo Farah's course record at the Vitality Big Half

Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele broke Mo Farah's course record in the men's Vitality Big Half race in London with a time of one hour and 22 seconds.

Bekele shaved 1:18 minutes off the record set in 2019 by Briton Farah, who missed out with an Achilles injury.

Britain's Lily Partridge won the elite women's race for the first time with a time of 1:10:50.

Two-time marathon winner Shelly Woods made a successful return to the capital in the women's wheelchair race.

Brent Lakatos won the men's wheelchair event with six-time Paralympic champion David Weir in second.

Britain's Christopher Thompson finished second in the men's race, with Jake Smith in third.

The full London marathon will take place on Sunday, 26 April.

Bekele's victory sets up an exciting head-to-battle with Eliud Kipchoge, as the two fastest marathon runners of all time line up for April's race.

"The new course record is a great bonus. I wasn't focused on time today, I just wanted to win," said Bekele.

"I'm on schedule in my preparation for the London Marathon in April. There's no question about the crowds in London being great.

"They were cheering all around the course and it felt like a great place to be."

Partridge - running in her third London half-marathon - cruised to victory in the women's race.

Her compatriots Samantha Harrison and Stephanie Davis finished second and third respectively.

"My coach said to me before the start that the goal was to win," said Partridge.

"It wasn't about the time today. It's my fastest ever half marathon during a marathon build-up."

 

(03/01/2020) ⚡AMP
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The Vitality Big Half

The Vitality Big Half

Created by London Marathon Events Ltd, in partnership with Sported,The Vitality Big Half is a community running festival, taking place in London in March. This one-day event offers a host of running distances, from a challenging half marathon to a free one-mile course, as well as a family-friendly festival of food, music and activities. What’s happening? Take part with friends...

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World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge and David Rudisha lead Absa initiative to boost education in Kenya

World record holders Eliud Kipchoge and David Rudisha are among five athletes signed up by Absa Bank Kenya PLC to power their “Torch of possibilities run” initiative that seeks to raise funds for education in Kenya.

ABSA Bank Kenya managing director and CEO Jeremy Awori said the bank also intends to partner with the ministries of sports and education in the initiative that seeks to raise funds for education, sports and the future for Kenyan children.

Others athletes included in the campaign are two-time world marathon champion Catherine Ndereba, former world 800 meters champion Janeth Jepkosgei and three-time Diamond League 3,000 meters steeplechase winner Paul Kipsiele Koech.

Awori said that the athletes will participate and champion the cause in five races to be held in Eldoret, Nairobi, Nyeri, Kisumu and Mombasa where they also intend to raise funds from entry fees and sponsorship from other corporates.

Awori added that the campaign is aimed at motivating emerging and future athletes, as well as millions of young Kenyans to aspire for greatness.

Eldoret will open the proceedings on March 21 followed by Nairobi on March 28 where entry fees across all the events is Sh1,000.

Awori said they will inject Sh45 million into the cause that is divided between two major projects with Sh20 million going towards the construction of ablution blocks in 40 primary schools across the country.

“Sh25 million will be used to set up 66 computer centers across the country in partnership with Computer for Schools project,” said Awori during the launch at Movenpick Hotel, Nairobi, that was attended by all the contracted athletes save for Kipchoge, who gave a recorded speech.

Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed, Director of Secondary Education Paul Kibet, who represented Cabinet Secretary for Education George Magoha and Athletics Kenya CEO Susan Kamau, among others, graced the launch.

“We wanted to bring possibilities of life in education through sports and the place to experience that is young people,” said Awori, adding that they picked on the athletes because of their remarkable status in sport.

Awori highlighted the intention of the bank to keep differentiating itself through participating in projects that are attuned to the needs of the communities in which it operates.

In the last three years, the bank has invested Sh161 million to support 574 university students through the Absa Scholarship program.

Amina said the best gift the country can give to the youth is good education and health through programs like sports and hailed Absa’s initiative.

“Sanitation and especially ablution blocks have been a challenge in schools. Our first phase is the primary schools first moving to secondary hence Absa’s initiative will help us,” said Amina, adding that they intend to construct 19 sports academies across the country where children coming from such programs will continue to pursue their sporting talent.”

(02/28/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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World marathon bronze medalist Amos Kipruto is planning to break the course record on his second appearance at Tokyo Marathon

World marathon bronze medalist Amos Kipruto is planning to lower his personal best time and perhaps break the course record on his second appearance at Tokyo Marathon on Sunday.

Kipruto, who ran his personal best of two hours, five minutes and 43 seconds when finishing fourth at the 2017 Amsterdam Marathon, believes a good show in Tokyo should set a good stage for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Former world marathon record holder Wilson Kipsang holds the course record time of 2:03:58 set in 2017.

Another fast time on the course was set last year by Ethiopian Birhanu Legese, who won the race in 2:04:48.

“I am expecting a pretty fast race with a possibility of the field breaking the 2:03 barrier,” said Kipruto, who is determined to finish in a better podium place than in 2018 when he settled third in 2:06:33, a race won by compatriot Dickson Chumba in 2:05:30.

“I have really trained well since claiming bronze at the World Championships last year and I feel ready to battle,” explained Kipruto, who has been training in Kapsabet with the 2Running team under Italian coach Claudio Berardelli.

I know the field will go at a great pace but my plan is to beat my personal best for a possible victory.

It will be his third World Marathon Majors race, having finished third at 2018 Tokyo before chalking a second place finish at 2018 Berlin Marathon where compatriot Eliud Kipchoge set a new world marathon record of 2:01:39. Kipruto returned a time of 2:06:23 with Kipsang wrapping up the podium place in 2:06:48.

(02/27/2020) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon is an annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors. (2020) The Tokyo Marathon Foundation said it will cancel the running event for non-professional runners as the coronavirus outbreak pressures cities and institutions to scrap large events. Sponsored by Tokyo...

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Cherono replaces injured Farah, to battle Bekele in London Half Marathon

Chicago Marathon champion Lawrence Cherono has been drafted in to replace injured Mo Farah and battle Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele in the March 1 Vitality London Half Marathon.

Cherono, one of the world's most successful marathon runners, will take on Bekele as part of his training ahead of his title defense on the streets in Boston in April.

Cherono, who has been selected to represent Kenya at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, is the reigning champion of both the Boston and Chicago Marathons and has an incredible record of eight wins in 11 races over the 42km distance.

"I am really looking forward to going to London to run in such a high-quality race. I'm thankful for the opportunity. It is exactly the test I was looking for as I prepare for the Boston Marathon and I am sure it will be a great race," Cherono said on Wednesday.

The London Half Marathon, which starts close to London's iconic Tower Bridge, will offer Cherono a stern test gauging his fitness against Bekele, he is to fight at the Tokyo Olympic games later in August.

Bekele is the current world record holder for 5000m and 10000m and the second-fastest marathon runner in history having clocked 2:01:41 in winning Berlin race in 2019.

Both men will use the London Half Marathon as crucial preparation for upcoming marathons.

Bekele is working towards a mouth-watering match-up between himself and marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge on April 26 while Cherono will defend his Boston Marathon title six days earlier on April 20.

As well as Cherono and Bekele, the reigning Rotterdam Marathon champion Marius Kipserem from Kenya and a host of leading British athletes including Chris Thompson, Dewi Griffiths and Ross Millington will race in this year's event.

Mo Farah withdrew from this year's race due to injury and is still in Kenya to continue with his training.

(02/22/2020) ⚡AMP
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The Vitality Big Half

The Vitality Big Half

Created by London Marathon Events Ltd, in partnership with Sported,The Vitality Big Half is a community running festival, taking place in London in March. This one-day event offers a host of running distances, from a challenging half marathon to a free one-mile course, as well as a family-friendly festival of food, music and activities. What’s happening? Take part with friends...

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Chicago Marathon champion Lawrence Cherono will replace injured Farah, to battle Bekele in London Half Marathon

Chicago Marathon champion Lawrence Cherono has been drafted in to replace injured Mo Farah and battle Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele in the March 1 Vitality London Half Marathon.

Cherono, one of the world's most successful marathon runners, will take on Bekele as part of his training ahead of his title defense on the streets in Boston in April.

Cherono, who has been selected to represent Kenya at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, is the reigning champion of both the Boston and Chicago Marathons and has an incredible record of eight wins in 11 races over the 42km distance.

"I am really looking forward to going to London to run in such a high-quality race. I'm thankful for the opportunity. It is exactly the test I was looking for as I prepare for the Boston Marathon and I am sure it will be a great race," Cherono said on Wednesday.

The London Half Marathon, which starts close to London's iconic Tower Bridge, will offer Cherono a stern test gauging his fitness against Bekele, he is to fight at the Tokyo Olympic games later in August.

Bekele is the current world record holder for 5000m and 10000m and the second-fastest marathon runner in history having clocked 2:01:41 in winning Berlin race in 2019.

Both men will use the London Half Marathon as crucial preparation for upcoming marathons.

Bekele is working towards a mouth-watering match-up between himself and marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge on April 26 while Cherono will defend his Boston Marathon title six days earlier on April 20.

As well as Cherono and Bekele, the reigning Rotterdam Marathon champion Marius Kipserem from Kenya and a host of leading British athletes including Chris Thompson, Dewi Griffiths and Ross Millington will race in this year's event.

Mo Farah withdrew from this year's race due to injury and is still in Kenya to continue with his training.

(02/12/2020) ⚡AMP
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The Vitality Big Half

The Vitality Big Half

Created by London Marathon Events Ltd, in partnership with Sported,The Vitality Big Half is a community running festival, taking place in London in March. This one-day event offers a host of running distances, from a challenging half marathon to a free one-mile course, as well as a family-friendly festival of food, music and activities. What’s happening? Take part with friends...

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The true test of the newest Nike shoe will be in under three weeks' time at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials

Last week Nike released their newest line of shoes which includes the Air Zoom Alphafly Next%, complete with a 39.5 mm stack height, falling just under World Athletics’ new ruling of a maximum of 40 mm. Since the release of the so-called super shoe shoe (that conveniently follows all of World Athletics’ new rules) there has been heavy speculation that Nike was tipped off, but WA claims that’s not the case.

World Athletics told The Guardian last week, “We spoke to several shoe companies, including Nike, a few days before we released our new shoe regulations to let them know what we were planning. But that was the extent of it.”

Alex Hutchinson has written extensively on this topic (including in the current issue of Canadian Running Magazine). He spoke to Nike and claimed on Twitter that according to the company, the commercial version of the Air Zoom Alphafly Next% isn’t all that different from the shoe Eliud Kipchoge wore to break the two hour barrier in October.

Here are the major takeaways from the thread: 1.- Kipchoge’s Alphafly prototype was legal, and basically identical to the upcoming consumer version. 2.- World Athletics measured a size eight as 39.5 mm [stack height], which is their reference size (WA rules actually say size 42). 3.- Heel-toe offset will be 8 mm in commercial shoe.

If the Kipchoge shoe was, in fact, nearly identical to the consumer version (available February 29 in limited release), then perhaps World Athletics’ assertion that no shoe company had advance notice is credible.

When asked last week about what the future holds for running shoe technology, Hutchinson points out that we don’t actually know how good the Alphafly is yet. He wrote in an email, “Seeing Kipchoge run sub-two in the earlier prototype was obviously impressive, but there was a lot going on in that race. With the original Vaporfly, we had actual external lab data telling us how good it was. But for subsequent models, we’re just guessing. Just because it looks crazy doesn’t mean it’s substantially better than previous models. I guess we’ll find out—but for now, that knowledge gap makes predictions about the Alphafly’s impact difficult.”

The true test will come at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials when the shoe will go head-to-head against other companies’ carbon-plated creations for the first time. That event will have spectators watching shoes just as closely as the runners.

(02/11/2020) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

The 2020 US Olympic Trials for both men and women took place in Atlanta, Ga on Sunday Feb 29. Runners had to qualify by running certain standards beforehand. The trials are hosted by the Atlanta Track club. The course runs through the heart of Atlanta and past monuments from the 1996 Olympic Games Most countries around the world use a...

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By Defying Expectations, Nike NEXT% Moves Athletes Forward

Call it the ultimate test run: When Eliud Kipchoge broke the two-hour marathon barrier in Vienna this past October, he was wearing a prototype of the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT%.

"For runners, records like the four-minute mile and two-hour marathon are barometers of progress. These are barriers that have tested human potential. When someone like Eliud breaks them, our collective belief about what's possible changes," says Tony Bignell, VP, Footwear Innovation. "Barriers are inspiring to innovators. Like athletes, when a barrier is in front of us, we are challenged to think differently and push game-changing progress in footwear design.”

The NEXT% platform is the ultimate expression of Nike's ambition to engineer footwear with measurable performance benefit. NEXT% is all about creating more efficient intersections between the body and technology to enable athletes to shatter personal boundaries — and sometimes, as our athletes have shown, break records. It is the ultimate meeting of sports science and purposeful design.

“The groundbreaking research that led to the original Vaporfly unlocked an entirely new way of thinking about marathon shoes,” says Carrie Dimoff, an elite marathoner and member of Nike’s Advanced Innovation Team. "Once we understood the plate and foam as a system, we started thinking about ways to make the system even more effective. That’s when we struck upon the idea of adding Nike Air to store and return even more of a runner’s energy and provide even more cushioning.”

Nike NEXT% is a footwear innovation system engineered to give athletes a measurable benefit. Informed by sport science and verified by the Nike Sport Research Lab, the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT% features three critical components, working together to help runners on race day:

Nike’s newest race-day shoe, the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT% features two new Nike Zoom Air pods, more ZoomX foam and a single carbon fiber plate (all updates from its predecessor, the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT%), and an ultra-breathable, lightweight Flyknit upper – all adding up to improved cushioning and running economy.

The shoe is part of a suite of products releasing in summer 2020, including the Nike Air Zoom Tempo NEXT% and Nike Air Zoom Tempo NEXT% FlyEase, complementary training shoes that translate the principles of the Alphafly to rigorous daily use, and track spikes (the Nike Air Zoom Victory) that extend the NEXT% design ethos to new disciplines.

For the Tempo NEXT%, the NEXT% system is specifically tuned to training. The plate shifts from carbon to a composite — softer for added comfort over higher mileage — but still serves to provide stability and transition throughout a runner's full stride. ZoomX, prized for its energy return and responsiveness, sits above the plate at mid and forefoot. For maximum impact protection and durability, Nike React Foam is used at the heel. The same Nike Zoom Air pods featured in the new Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT% are also placed in the Tempo’s forefoot to offer responsive cushioning and a sensation of propulsion.

The Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT%, Nike Air Zoom Tempo NEXT% and Nike Air Zoom Tempo NEXT% FlyEase give athletes of today an opportunity to stamp their mark and motivate athletes (and designers) of tomorrow to set even greater goals.

(02/09/2020) ⚡AMP
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Eliud Kipchoge has called Kenya's team kit for Tokyo 2020 unique and awesome, despite mixed opinion

Eliud Kipchoge, who became the first runner to complete a marathon under two hours in the Ineos 1:59 Challenge in October, said that it bears the colors of the national flag and resonates well with the new generation, according to Kenyan news service, Daily Nation.

“I think it will turn tables as far as sport is concerned. 

"I trust I will see Kenyans draped in the Kenyan colors in all streets of our towns,” said Kipchoge. 

“It is a good thing that Nike has promised to make these awesome clothes available on retail.”

Kipchoge also added that it absorbs and drains moisture fast, tailoring it to the conditions set for Tokyo.

The launch took place on Tuesday in New York, including 1500 meters champion Timothy Cheruiyot alongside athletes from other nations such as United States and Brazil. 

However, the reception was not loved by all, with athletics fan Jack Waiyaki calling it a "Tasteless, poor design."

"The name 'KENYA' should be clearly seen and dominant," said Waiyaki. 

"The other kit does not need to be changed- it is a well known global trademark and brand that sends fear to rivals."

The honeycomb kit sparked controversy on Twitter after the announcement with one user joking, "I'm no longer Kenyan."

Another Facebook user, Mosdef Apollo said, "Did someone get paid for that? 

"The laziest designer, there is no iota of creativity - return that thing, it doesn't befit Kenya."

One other commenter asked if the vest was "inspired by bees."

One supporter, Kamal Kaur said, "Modern, vibrant and it stands out."

Kenya won all 13 of their Olympic medals from Rio 2016 in athletics with their last non-athletics medal coming at Seoul 1988. 

(02/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by Michael Houston
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, from July 24 to August 9, 2020. The Games in 1964 radically transformed the country. According to the organizers of the event in 2020, the Games of the XXXII Olympiad of the modern era will be “the most innovative...

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On Sunday April 26, 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon will celebrate 40 years

Virgin Money London Marathon, the world’s greatest marathon celebrates another landmark moment in its extraordinary history – The 40th Race.

From the legendary hand-in-hand finish of joint winners Dick Beardsley and Inge Simonsen in the very first London Marathon to countless world records; from one million finishers to £1 billion raised for charity; from crazy costumes to the incredible and inspiring examples of spirit and courage, The 40th Race – the name of this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon campaign – will celebrate them all.

The 40th Race campaign was launched at a star-studded reception on Tower Bridge, the iconic halfway point of the race, tonight (Tuesday 4 February) as a special film celebrating The 40th Race was released.

Hugh Brasher, Event Director of the Virgin Money London Marathon, said: “This year will be The 40th Race and we are so proud of how far the event has come since that wet day back on 29 March 1981. The London Marathon has proved to be a unique force for good and continues to have an extraordinary impact on society. It is an event that has inspired profound social change.

“Every year on Marathon Day, London is transformed. On one amazing day, the runners take on the challenge of 26.2 miles as families and friends come out to support them. Charities, which spend months championing causes and runners, line the route. Many thousands of volunteers come together and more than 750,000 spectators line the streets, cheering on every runner – it is London, and the UK, at its best.

“We look forward to celebrating the rich history of the London Marathon and, as always, we are also looking to the future of the event and how we can continue to develop and grow the world’s greatest marathon.”

In the men’s elite race, the two fastest marathon runners of all time, world record holder Eliud Kipchoge (KEN) and Kenenisa Bekele (ETH) go head-to-head while women’s world record holder and defending champion Brigid Kosgei (KEN) leads the greatest female marathon field ever assembled, as she takes on 2018 champion Vivian Cheruiyot (KEN) and world champion Ruth Chepngetich (KEN).

(02/05/2020) ⚡AMP
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...

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British distance-running great Mo Farah has withdrawn from next month's Big Half race in London with an achilles injury, organizers announced on Wednesday

The four-time Olympic gold medalist, preparing for the 2020 Games in Tokyo, suffered the minor injury in training.

Farah, 36, has won the half-marathon event for the past two years and was due to take on a field featuring Ethiopia star Kenenisa Bekele on March 1.

"I was really looking forward to racing the Vitality Big Half again," said Farah in a statement issued by event organizers.

"Everyone knows how much I love racing in London, but my priority is to be fit, healthy and competitive for the summer season and for that reason I have had to make the tough decision not to race this year."

Farah will continue his Olympic preparations in Africa after changing his mind about running the marathon in Tokyo to return to the track, having won double gold over 5,000 meters and 10,000m at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Games.

He won the 2018 Chicago marathon in a European record time but could only manage a fifth-place finish at last year's London Marathon.

Eliud Kipchoge, the world record holder, is the favorite to win marathon gold in Tokyo. Farah is set to defend his 10,000m title in Japan instead.

(02/05/2020) ⚡AMP
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The Vitality Big Half

The Vitality Big Half

Created by London Marathon Events Ltd, in partnership with Sported,The Vitality Big Half is a community running festival, taking place in London in March. This one-day event offers a host of running distances, from a challenging half marathon to a free one-mile course, as well as a family-friendly festival of food, music and activities. What’s happening? Take part with friends...

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Nike's controversial Vaporfly shoe has been permitted for use in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

World Athletics has temporarily updated its guidelines for sports shoes worn in competitive events ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in July.

The new guidelines from the international governing body for athletics bans the trainer Eliud Kipchoge wore to break the two-hour marathon record.

Vaporfly meets new stipulations, However, Nike's Vaporfly range – including the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% and the Zoom Vaporfly 4% – meets the stipulations of World Athletics' amended Technical Rules.

These prohibit shoes with soles that are thicker than 40 millimetres and the inclusion of more than one carbon-fibre plate, or similar item, in the sole.

The news comes amid criticism of the fairness of allowing athletes to compete while wearing the Vaporfly range, which have thick, foam soles and carbon-fibre plates to improve speed.

In 2019, 31 of the 36 podium positions in the six world marathon majors were won by elite athletes wearing Vaporfly, as reported by the Guardian.

World Athletics' Moratorium, which forms part of the Clothing section of the guidelines, also states that, from 30 April, shoes have to be on the open market for at least four months before an elite athlete can wear them for a contest.

While Vaporfly remains within the amends, the prototype Air Fly trainer that Nike-sponsored Kenyan runner Eliud Kipchoge wore to run a sub-two-hour marathon in October 2019 will be banned under the regulations.

The sneaker has a much chunkier sole than the Vaporfly and reportedly includes three carbon-fibre plates.

It has been reported, however, that Nike still has time to make amends to the Alpha Fly ahead of a release in March – over four months before the start of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics on 24 July.

This could make it possible for athletes to wear the shoe during the major competition.

(02/04/2020) ⚡AMP
by Eleanor Gibson
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, from July 24 to August 9, 2020. The Games in 1964 radically transformed the country. According to the organizers of the event in 2020, the Games of the XXXII Olympiad of the modern era will be “the most innovative...

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World record-holders Eliud Kipchoge and Brigid Kosgei headline the star-studded Kenyan marathon team for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Eliud Kipchoge, who is the first man to run the marathon in under two hours, will be seeking to defend the title he won in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil four years ago where he clocked 2:08:44.

Kipchoge, whose record stands at 2:01:39, will lead the Kenyan men’s team which also has debutant Chicago Marathon champion Lawrence Cherono, world silver medalist Amos Kipruto, former world half marathon silver medalist Bedan Karoki, and African Games half marathon winner Titus Ekiru. The duo of Karoki and Ekiru are on stand by.

Cherono, 32, made it to the team courtesy of his heroics in Chicago last year, where he timed 2:05:45 to win the race— just six months after claiming the Boston Marathon. He has a personal best of 2:04:06 recorded in Amsterdam in 2018. Cherono’s half marathon personal best stands at 1:00:46 posted in San Diego, USA last year.

Kipruto called on the sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed to accord the team support like she did during the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar. He termed the selection process as tough for AK owing to the number of top marathoners in the country pursuing to make the team.

“It was tough for AK to pick the team from the pool of marathoners we have. We are happy to have made the cut and we hope we will enjoy maximum support. The CS was in Doha with us during the World championships and her presence motivated the team. We will maintain our mentality and discipline in camp,” he said.

Similarly, Brigid Kosgei will lead the women’s team which will also feature world champion Ruth Chepngetich and former London Marathon champion Vivian Cheruiyot. Sally Kaptich and Vallary Aiyabei are on standby

Kosgei broke Paula Radcliffe's 16-year-old record held by a massive 81 seconds in October last year during the Chicago Marathon after crossing the line in 2:14:04. She is also the London Marathon champion and has half marathon personal best of 1:04:28. 

Chepngetich defied sweltering conditions in Doha to be crowned the world champion last year, where she clocked 2:32:43. The 26-year-old has a marathon personal best at 2:17:08 which she ran in Dubai last year. Her half marathon best time is 1:05:30. 

For Vivian, she returns to the Olympics as a marathoner after reigning supreme in the 5,000 and 10,000m races in the previous four editions. The decorated athlete won the 5,000m race in Rio and took silver in 10,000m. She will be hoping to add yet another Olympic gold medal to her rich collection. Her full marathon personal best is 2:18:31 which was recorded in London in 2018. Her half marathon best time is 1:06:34.

“It is the best team ever assembled for the Olympics. We are going to work hard in training and make our country proud,” said Cheruiyot

Training is set to begin on May 1 in Kaptagat according to AK President Jackson Tuwei.

(01/31/2020) ⚡AMP
by Meshack Kisenge
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, from July 24 to August 9, 2020. The Games in 1964 radically transformed the country. According to the organizers of the event in 2020, the Games of the XXXII Olympiad of the modern era will be “the most innovative...

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Controversial Nike Vaporflys will be allowed by World Athletics but running shoe rules will tighten

World Athletics will not be imposing a blanket ban on the controversial hi-tech Nike Vaporflys that have transformed athletics when it announces its long-awaited decision on shoe technology on Friday, the Guardian understands.

Instead the sport’s governing body is expected to announce a temporary suspension of any new shoe technology until after the Tokyo Olympics this summer, alongside the launch of a comprehensive research project to examine just how advantageous the shoes, and others like it from rival brands, are at elite level.

World Athletics is also likely to introduce a tighter set of regulations for new shoes in the future, including the need for companies to present any prototypes to it for approval before they can be used in competition.

Such has been the Vaporflys’ dominance in recent years that athletes wearing them claimed 31 of the 36 podium positions in the six world marathon majors in 2019.

The Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge also wore a pair when he set an official men’s world record in Berlin in 2018 with a time of 2hr 01min 39sec – while his compatriot Brigid Kosgei smashed Paula Radcliffe’s women’s record in the Next% version of the shoe last October in 2:14:04.

However the shoes, which were introduced in 2016, have deeply divided the athletics community, with some supporting the technological arms race as part of an inevitable evolution of the sport – and others warning that it is deeply unfair to athletes who are not sponsored by Nike.

Kipchoge has denied that, saying: “They are fair. I trained hard. Technology is growing and we can’t deny it – we must go with technology.” But the small number of studies conducted on the Vaporflys suggest that, depending on the model and athlete, they can typically improve a person’s running economy by 4-5% – which translates to at least a minute- to 90-second advantage for an elite male runner over 26.2 miles and even more in an average club athlete.

Vaporfly shoes will help me reach my marathon dream. Should I use them?

Where that leaves the Nike AlphaFly, the next generation prototype shoes worn by Eliud Kipchoge when he ran the first sub-two hour marathon in October in an unofficial event is unclear. It is understood that these shoes – which are said to contain three carbon plates and improve running economy by 8% – have not yet been submitted to World Athletics experts for inspection.

Even if the AlphaFlys are banned at elite level there will be no restrictions on ordinary athletes buying and wearing them in races when they are released in the shops by Nike.

(01/29/2020) ⚡AMP
by Sean Ingle
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Boston marathon champion Lawrence Cherono said Tuesday that representing Kenya at the Tokyo Olympics will be a big achievement, winning gold will be dream come true

Lawrence Cherono, 31, said his main hurdle to securing a ticket to the Olympics will be in defending his title at the Boston Marathon in April.

However, he hopes to make the provisional team, set to be named in February for the Olympics.

For a country that has over 20 elite runners who have posted a faster time of 2:06.00, picking the best three will be a hard task for the coaches' selector panel.

But Cherono has showed a strong desire to represent the country and believes his good performance in the last season will convince the coaches to offer him his maiden show for the country at the global championship.

"The competition for position in the Kenya team is tough. With all my accomplishments, I have not been lucky to represent the country at the Olympics. It will be a great honor if I will be part of the team to Tokyo," Cherono said.

Cherono's debut in marathon was in Seville, Spain where he won in 2:09.39.

He then moved to China and was second at the Lanzhou marathon clocking 2:12.33 back in 2015. Later that year he finished seventh at the Shanghai marathon with a time of 2:14.22.

In 2016, he was second at the Hengshui Lake marathon, won in Prague marathon and claimed the silver medal at the Hong Kong city marathon. He has also finished first in Honolulu, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Chicago and Boston.

If winning in Boston again, Cherono will secure his ticket to Tokyo to join defending champion Eliud Kipchoge, who has already been confirmed for the Olympics.

But it will not be a walk in the park for Cherono in Boston. He will be up against 2018 Boston winner Yuki Kawauchi of Japan, former World marathon champion Geoffrey Kirui who has a personal best of 2:06:27 he recorded at the 2016 Amsterdam marathon.

Also chasing the title in Boston is the 2012 Olympic champion Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda.

(01/29/2020) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, from July 24 to August 9, 2020. The Games in 1964 radically transformed the country. According to the organizers of the event in 2020, the Games of the XXXII Olympiad of the modern era will be “the most innovative...

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World marathon bronze medalist Amos Kipruto will be featured at the Tokyo Marathon on March 1 as part of his preparations for the 2020 Olympic Games

Kenyan Amos Kipruto is  set to use Tokyo Marathon as Olympic build-up.

However, the Olympic Games will depends on whether he makes the final cut. Kipruto finished third in last year's  Tokyo Marathon in 2:06.33 and will be seeking to improve on his performance. 

" I have taken my training a notch higher and I do about 35km in a day—20km in my morning run and 15km in the evening. Marathon is not a one-day affair  as everything—ranging from endurance and speed among other things have to be perfect,” said Kipruto.

Kipruto shot to fame in 2018 when he finished second behind Eliud Kipchoge who posted a new world marathon record in Berlin.

“Covering 200km a week is not easy and I will have to take one step at a time.  I have been working closely with my coach Claudio Berardelli and I have a good training programme,” added Kipruto, who trains at 2 Running Club.

With top runners chasing Olympic slots, Kipruto said he is still waiting to see if he will make the shortlist for the Tokyo Games.

“For now, my focus is Tokyo Marathon. If I will be named in the team to the Olympics, I will be glad to represent my country.  It is the pride of every runner to compete for his or her country at the global stage,” he added.

Kipruto made his debut for the country at the World Championships in Doha last year and will be ready if offered a chance to compete at the Olympic Games. 

(01/24/2020) ⚡AMP
by Emmanuel Sabuni
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon is an annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors. (2020) The Tokyo Marathon Foundation said it will cancel the running event for non-professional runners as the coronavirus outbreak pressures cities and institutions to scrap large events. Sponsored by Tokyo...

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Kenyan Eric Kiptanui faces a stern test as he makes his full marathon debut at the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon on January 24

Eric Kiptanui is the sole Kenyan contestant  in the elite men's field. The 29-year-old is half marathon specialist and is the sixth-fastest man over the distance, thanks to the 58:42 he clocked  while winning Berlin Half Marathon in 2018.

He won the Barcelona Half Marathon last year  in 1:01.40 and also bagged the 2018 Lisbon Half Marathon in 1:00:05. Kiptanui finished ninth at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon in October last year, posting 1:02:23.

He was also one of the pacemakers used by world marathon record holder, Eliud Kipchoge when he broke the sub two-hour marathon mark in Vienna last year.

Kiptanui will have to contend with a strong Ethiopian lineup led by Solomon Deksisa and Seifu Tura. Deksisa has a personal best of 2:04:40 while Tura's PB is 2:04:44.

Despite his relatively young age, the talented Deksisa has built up plenty of experience at the marathon distance after a brief track career.

At 20, he won the 2014 San Diego Half Marathon with a personal best of 1:00:12, then two years later, he moved up to the marathon and ran an impressive 2:06:22 debut in Rotterdam to finish second.

Since then he has fully focused on the 42.195km distance and claimed his first marathon victory in Mumbai in 2018 before winning again in Hamburg a few months later. 

2018 proved to be his best year so far as he ended it with a 2:04:40 PB to finish third in Amsterdam. His life-time best is just one minute outside the Dubai course record set in 2019 by Getaneh Molla. Kenya last won the Dubai Marathon in 2012 through David Barmasai.

In the absence of defending and World champion Ruth Chepngetich, Ethiopia will have the edge in the race with the likes of Worknesh Degefa, Deba Dejene, Alemu Megertu, Dera Dida and Guteni Shone all present.

(01/21/2020) ⚡AMP
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Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

In its relatively brief history (the race was first held in 2000), the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon has become one of the fastest, most respected and the most lucrative marathon in the world in terms of prize money. Each year thousands of runners take to the roads in this beautiful city in the United Arab Emirates for this extraordinary race...

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Kenenisa Bekele and Eliud Kipchoge will face off at the London Marathon

Kenenisa Bekele has agreed to race Eliud Kipchoge in a London Marathon in April – and said he is not surprised Mo Farah is swerving the race in favour of returning to the track.

Bekele, a three-time Olympic gold medallist who has won 17 world titles over cross-country, track and road, roared with laughter when asked what he thought of Farah’s decision to leave the marathon and then added: “I am not surprised. Of course if you see Mo Farah’s races in marathons, he’s struggling – it’s not easy to get good results over a marathon. You need experience. It’s a different course, a different racing mentality.

“But it is really hard for all of us. You need to learn how to run it and also the training is different. I think it’s harder, not only for Mo, but for all of us – even I struggled.”

However the Ethiopian, who ran the second fastest marathon time in history in Berlin in September, two seconds shy of Kipchoge’s official world record of 2hr 01min 39sec, said Farah is still good enough to win a medal in the 10,000m at the Tokyo Olympics.

“I’m sure we’ll see Mo doing better things on the track. If he focuses and concentrates like before I’m sure he will be in the medals in the 10,000. I’ve no doubt about that.”

Bekele still holds the 5,000m and 10,000m world records, which were set in 2004 and 2005 respectively, and insisted he was capable of claiming Kipchoge’s marathon best even at the age of 37.

“My training is going well and I feel well,” he said.“Before last year I was struggling with injury. Everyone knows I’m a strong athlete from 15 years on the track. When we came to the marathon I’ve struggled maybe to achieve good results but of course this is because of injury, not a lack of training or my personality. I was a bit behind but my health came back and now I’m doing a lot better in the marathon.”

Bekele also admitted the sight of his great Kenyan rival running a sub-two-hour marathonin Vienna in October, albeit in an event that was not recognised by World Athletics, has spurred him on.

“When he ran under two hours, and of course it is not recognised, but it made me very motivated,” he said. “If someone like me also gets this big chance we will do a similar thing or do better. I believe in myself – you need the opportunity of course but some athletes will do a similar thing.”

The pair have met four times over 26.2 miles, with Kipchoge winning all four races. However Bekele has the better head-to-head record across all distances and surfaces.

“I am looking forward to racing Eliud once again,” added Bekele. “We have had many great battles over the years on the track, roads and cross-country. My big dream is to break the world record and an amazing performance will happen at the London Marathon.”

(01/16/2020) ⚡AMP
by Sean Ingle
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...

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Eliud Kipchoge says that Nike shoes do not give runners an unfair advantage

World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge has laughed off claims that Nike's talk-of-town racing shoe gives distance runners an added advantage.

Media reports on Wednesday speculated that the now famous Nike Zoom Vaporfly racing shoe could be banned for giving runners "undue advantage."

Kipchoge wore the shoe in Vienna last October when he became the first man to run the marathon in under two hours.

The Olympic champion clocked one hour, 59 minutes and 40 seconds to beat the iconic two-hour barrier at a race against the clock organised by British petrochemicals firm Ineos.

A day later, his compatriot Brigid Kosgei shattered Briton Paula Radcliffe's 16-year-old women's world record, running 2:14:04 at the Chicago Marathon.

"The contentious issue is the foam and carbon-fibre composition of the sole, which acts like a spring to help runners get the most forward push from each stride," British newspaper, 'The Daily Mail', reported on Wednesday.

"A technical body looking into the Nike shoes are set to deliver their findings at the end of this month," the newspaper added.

But speaking at his Global Sports Communication/NN Running team training camp in Kaptagat, Kipchoge said records are broken by individuals, not footwear.

"It's the person who is running, and not the shoes," said Kipchoge, who also holds the world marathon record at 2:01:39.

"It is (Lewis) Hamilton who does the driving and not Pirelli tyres," he added, drawing parallels with Formula One racing.

But the distance running legend said it was important to have checks and balances even as running technology evolves.

"Controls have to be there because fairness is good," Kipchoge said.

"But technology is growing and you can't deny that!"

(01/15/2020) ⚡AMP
by Elias Makori
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INEOS 1:59 Challenge

INEOS 1:59 Challenge

Mankind have constantly sought to reach new frontiers and to achieve the impossible. From Edmund Hillary reaching the summit of Mount Everest to Roger Bannister’s four-minute mile to Felix Baumgartner jumping from space we have frequently redefined the limits of human achievement and broken new barriers previously seen as simply impossible. After the four-minute mile and the ten second 100m...

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2020 London Marathon features a strong line up, but it's missing the one match up we really wanted to see, Kipchoge-Bekele

Eliud Kipchoge announced in December that he would be running the 2020 London Marathon but until today it was not known who he would face. It turns out that the men’s lineup is almost as strong as the women’s but is missing one key player: Kenenisa Bekele.

Bekele finished the 2019 Berlin Marathon race just two seconds shy of Kipchoge’s world record, and seeing the two race head-to-head would’ve been special.

The 2020 London Marathon will see the entire podium from the 2019 race returning. They announced on Tuesday morning that Mosinet Geremew and Mule Wasihun, the Ethiopian duo, would be vying for first place again in 2020.

The 2019 event saw a fast finish–one of the fastest ever, with both second and third place finishing in PBs. Kipchoge finished in 2:02:37, just over a minute off his world record.

Since London 2019, Kipchoge became the first person to run a sub-two-hour marathon at the INEOS 1:59 Challenge. Through halfway, the runners were right on pace, coming through at 59:35, well ahead of Kipchoge’s 59:57 half at Breaking2 in 2017. The runner clicked off 1K splits like a metronome, never deviating from his 2:50 pace by more than two seconds. He finished in 1:59:40.

(01/15/2020) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...

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Nike Vaporfly running shoes will most likely be banned

The running shoe used by Kenya's Brigid Kosgei to smash Paula Radcliffe's marathon record is set to be banned.

There is no decision yet on whether the new women's marathon mark — which Kosgei set wearing the Nike Vaporfly — will be allowed to stand.

The 25-year-old recorded a time of 2hr 14min 4sec in Chicago, well inside Radcliffe's mark of 2:15:25 set at the London Marathon in 2003.

It is also understood shoes which sources at World Athletics believe to be a hybrid of the Vaporfly — and in which Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge ran an unofficial sub-two-hour marathon in Vienna last year — will also be outlawed.

The contentious issue is the foam and carbon-fibre composition of the sole, which acts like a spring to help runners get the most forward push from each stride. A technical body looking into the Nike shoes are set to deliver their findings at the end of this month.

A moratorium is being considered by World Athletics, which may see records stand despite likely bans for the shoes.

Also set to be outlawed are the revolutionary running spikes developed for sprinters. These have sparked fears that inferior athletes at this year's Tokyo Olympics will break Usain Bolt's 100metres best of 9.58sec.

The shoes worn by Laura Muir to set a British record for the women's indoor mile (4min 18.75sec) in Glasgow last year are also likely to be axed.

 

(01/15/2020) ⚡AMP
by Mike Keegan
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INEOS 1:59 Challenge

INEOS 1:59 Challenge

Mankind have constantly sought to reach new frontiers and to achieve the impossible. From Edmund Hillary reaching the summit of Mount Everest to Roger Bannister’s four-minute mile to Felix Baumgartner jumping from space we have frequently redefined the limits of human achievement and broken new barriers previously seen as simply impossible. After the four-minute mile and the ten second 100m...

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Sir Mo Farah says he can make history in Tokyo by winning 10,000m at the age of 37

Tuning into the 10,000 meters final at the World Championships was when the 36-year-old first realized he had unfinished business with the track, despite his four Olympic gold medals and six world titles.

“Watching Doha, I was nervous and agitated,” he recalled. “I felt like I was there. My heart was pounding and I was looking at that race thinking, ‘I know I could do it, I want to do it’, and the Olympics is just round the corner. I knew from that point that I’d love to go back and race that.

“As an athlete it’s important if you’re still hungry and you want it, you train for it, you push yourself to get it. If you’re not hungry, you don’t want it as much, then it’s impossible to get it. And right now I have a great hunger for the track.”

So adamant was Farah about the switch that his coach, Gary Lough, who is continuing to oversee his track ambitions, did not even attempt to talk him round. As Farah puts it: “Gary knew from that point that nothing else mattered.”

So accustomed was Farah to winning on the track that his stab at the marathon has been frustrating. There have been notable highs — winning in Chicago in 2018 and breaking the European record — but too often he has been found wanting to his East African rivals and admitted to struggling to rectify wrongs on the road, such are the rigors of the event.

“If a track race goes wrong, you know what went wrong, whether it’s your endurance or speed or whatever, you can work it out and then focus on it in training,” he said. “Then you race again in two weeks’ time and you do something about it. With the marathon, it’s sixth months. Take Chicago. I got injured beforehand, had a little niggle and the race was a disaster really. Having run so many track races in the past and with Tokyo around the corner, you go for what you knew best.”

It helps that the 10,000m has not moved on monstrously in his absence, Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei winning the world title in a time just a second quicker than Farah’s track swansong of the same distance at the preceding championships in 2017.

“There’s no one out there that has you saying ‘Oh, my God’ but in the marathon it’s different,” he said with a nod not just to the distance’s dominant force in Eliud Kipchoge but his wider rivals. “My understanding is I can’t finish in the top three in Tokyo with 2:05.”

But Farah will be the oldest man in history to run in a 10,000m final at the Olympics, let alone have aspirations to win a fifth Olympic gold. But, for him, it is the only target in his eyes. “It’s gold or nothing,” he said. “No one’s ever done that — someone that old — and that’s history. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it and work hard. I’m confident, otherwise I wouldn’t enter, but I know I’ve a lot of work to do. I can’t sit here saying, ‘It’s January and all’s good’. It’s going to be really hard. People will be saying, ‘Mo’ll win it’ but it doesn’t work like that.”

(01/14/2020) ⚡AMP
by Matt Majendie
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, from July 24 to August 9, 2020. The Games in 1964 radically transformed the country. According to the organizers of the event in 2020, the Games of the XXXII Olympiad of the modern era will be “the most innovative...

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Ethiopian duo Mosinet Geremew and Mule Wasihun, have confirmed they will return to the Virgin Money London Marathon

Mosinet Geremew and Mule Wasihun, the Ethiopian duo who pushed the legendary Eliud Kipchoge to the limit at the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon, have confirmed they will return to the World Athletics Platinum Label road race on April 26. 

With Kipchoge, the 2018 and 2019 World Athlete of the Year already confirmed, it means all three podium finishers from last year will be back for the 2020 edition.

Geremew, 27, ran the fifth fastest time in history of 2:02:55 to take second place behind Kipchoge in last year’s race and then had to settle for second again in his next marathon, the World Championships in Doha last October.

Wasihun’s time in finishing third in London last year, 2:03:16, was the 11th fastest marathon the world has ever seen.

Shura Kitata, who was fourth last year and second in 2018, has also been confirmed, ensuring that it looks likely to be a year when it is the Ethiopians who will be the biggest threat to Kipchoge winning an historic fifth London Marathon title.

Spencer Barden, Head of Elite Athletes, said: “Last year’s elite men’s race was one of the best races we have seen for many years. Mosinet Geremew and Mule Wasihun pushed Eliud Kipchoge as hard as I have ever seen but ultimately could not hang on to the great man in the final two miles. But they will have taken confidence from last year and will come back this time round looking to cause a real shock.”

Kipchoge, who made history by becoming the first human to cover the marathon distance in under two hours at the INEOS 1:59 Challenge in October, is looking to become the most successful able-bodied athlete in London Marathon history by winning a fifth title in 2020.

(01/14/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...

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Former Marathon World Record holder Wilson Kipsang banned in doping case

Wilson Kipsang, a former marathon world-record holder and Olympic bronze medalist, was provisionally suspended for whereabouts failures and tampering, according to doping officials.

The ban came from the Athletics Integrity Unit, track and field’s doping watchdog organization. Athletes must provide doping officials with locations to be available for out-of-competition testing, and missed tests can be tantamount to failed tests.

Kipsang, a 37-year-old Kenyan, won major marathons in New York City, London, Berlin and Tokyo between 2012 and 2017.

He lowered the world record to 2:03:23 at the 2013 Berlin Marathon, a mark that stood for one year until countryman Dennis Kimetto took it to 2:02:57 in Berlin. Another Kenyan, Eliud Kipchoge, lowered it to 2:01:39 at the 2018 Berlin Marathon.

Kipsang, the 2012 Olympic bronze medalist, last won a top-level marathon in Tokyo in 2017. He was third at the 2018 Berlin Marathon and 12th at his last marathon in London last April.

Kipsang is the latest Kenyan distance-running star to receive a doping-related ban.

Rita Jeptoo had Boston and Chicago Marathon titles stripped, and Jemima Sumgong was banned after winning the Rio Olympic marathon after both tested positive for EPO. Asbel Kiprop, a 2008 Olympic 1500m champion and a three-time world champ, was banned four years after testing positive for EPO in November 2017.

(01/10/2020) ⚡AMP
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World Half Marathon record holder Geoffrey Kamworor is now eyeing an Olympic medal

Last November, the 26-year-old won the men’s New York City Marathon for the second time in three years after clocking 2:08:13.

“My plan this year is to go to the Tokyo Olympics Games because the only medal lacking in my cabinet is an Olympic medal,” Kamworor said.

The athlete, who trains at the Global Sports Communication camp in Kaptagat, Elgeyo-Marakwet County alongside his mentor and World Marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge, said he has stepped up preparations.

Under the guidance of their coach Patrick Sang, Kamworor and Kipchoge have become two of the best marathoners in the world. Kamworor has been on the medal podium for each of the four New York City marathons he has run.

“I am working hard this time round to make sure that I go to the Olympics because I am focused on getting a medal,” the athlete said.

Kamworor was speaking to the press on Thursday at Kipsinende Primary School in Uasin Gishu County where he led fellow athletes in awarding the best 2019 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) performers in the school.

He was accompanied by Laban Korir (2014 Toronto Waterfront Marathon), Philemon Rono (2018 Toronto Waterfront Marathon winner), Sally Chepyego (former World Half Marathon champion), Hyvin Kiyeng (former world 3,000m steeplechase champion) and Olympic 1,500m champion Faith Kipyegon.

(01/10/2020) ⚡AMP
by Dennis Lubanga
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, from July 24 to August 9, 2020. The Games in 1964 radically transformed the country. According to the organizers of the event in 2020, the Games of the XXXII Olympiad of the modern era will be “the most innovative...

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Faith Chepngetich is getting ready for Tokyo face-off with Sifan Hassan

As Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon gears towards defending her Olympic title at this year’s Summer Games in Tokyo, Japan, she is ready for the prospect of facing off with double world champion Sifan Hassan.

The pair clashed at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar with the in-form Hassan carrying the day as Kipyegon settled for silver.

As the clock ticks towards this year’s Olympic Games slated for July 24-August 9 at the Japanese capital, Kipyegon is optimistic of defending her title she bagged four years ago in Rio, Brazil.

“Yes, we are in an Olympic season and that is my main goal this year. I have already resumed my build up exercises to make sure that I make the team because everyone is also eyeing the tickets to Tokyo,” said Kipyegon.

Kipyegon hailed the Ethiopian-born Dutch Hassan while speaking on the possibility of renewing their rivalry again this year.

“I normally prefer not to talk about somebody else but it is true that she (Hassan) was on form (last year) having took part in many races and also notching the world record over the mile.

“I knew she was very strong ahead of the World Championships and I congratulate her. I know we shall meet again this year and let’s wait and see what happens (laughs),” said the soft-spoken athlete.

Prior to the Worlds, Kipyegon was just a few months into training after returning from maternity leave and the Keringet-born athlete is hoping to enjoy more success this year with early preparations.

“For sure I expect this year to be different from 2019 because I had a very short time to prepare for World Championships having come back from maternity break. I know that if I build up well towards Tokyo then I will be much stronger,” she said.

After the World Championships, the 25-year-old shifted her training base from Keringet in Nakuru County to the famous Global Sports Communication camp in Kaptagat where she now joins fellow world beaters including world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge and world half marathon record holder Geoffrey Kamworor among others.

“I am honoured to train at Kaptagat with the likes of Kipchoge (Eliud), Kamworor (Geoffrey) and Kiyeng (Hyvin). I also thank my coach Patrick Sang for the guidance he has offered me since I joined the camp,” said Kipyegon.

(01/06/2020) ⚡AMP
by Gilbert Kiprotich
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, from July 24 to August 9, 2020. The Games in 1964 radically transformed the country. According to the organizers of the event in 2020, the Games of the XXXII Olympiad of the modern era will be “the most innovative...

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Kenyan Rhonex Kipruto dreams of winning gold at the Tokyo Olympics in the 10,000m

Kenya hopes a new breed of young talented runners will end their wait for gold at the 10k race at the Olympic Games.

For long Ethiopian runners and Britain's Mo Farah have reigned supreme in the ultimate track distance as Kenya played catch up.

However, head coach Julius Kirwa believes the country might have turned over a new chapter as its production chain has churned out top stars that are keen to take over the baton and dominate in Tokyo.

Kirwa said the emergence of young versatile distance-running talent out of East Africa is nothing new. However, one of the stars in question is the World bronze medalist Rhonex Kipruto, who leads the way among the current generation.

"He has shown time and again that he has the talent. His time will certainly peak in 2020 and I believe the Olympic Games is the ultimate stage for any athlete to prove their excellence in the competition of their choice," said Kirwa on Thursday in Nairobi.

Kipruto emerged on the international scene in 2018 when he won the world under-20 title in 10,000m in Tampere, Finland by a margin of almost 20 seconds, he backed this up by setting a world-leading 26:46 for 10km on the road in Prague.

Kipruto, who turned 20 in October, won the 10,000m in 26:50.16 in Stockholm Diamond League and then came close to that mark to take world bronze in Doha.

But ahead of the 2020 season, Kipruto is focused on discipline and hard work to walk in the steps of his mentor and World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge.

"I know it is the Olympic year in Tokyo, but the main thing should be discipline and hard work, which will guide me to be what I want to live like Eliud," said Kipruto.

Kipruto's coach Ian Kiprono is hopeful his athlete will weather the storm and climb up from bronze to gold in Tokyo.

"He needs to get rooted in doing his homework, training hard and remaining disciplined. The results will always come in," said coach Kiprono.

"The great Kenyan runners all have an amazing simplicity about themselves. That's another trait I look for in an athlete. A calmness, not forgetting where they came from," he added.

(01/02/2020) ⚡AMP
by Xiaoxia
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, from July 24 to August 9, 2020. The Games in 1964 radically transformed the country. According to the organizers of the event in 2020, the Games of the XXXII Olympiad of the modern era will be “the most innovative...

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David Rudisha’s 2012 Olympic 800m triumph has been chosen as the athletics moment of the decade

Over the past two weeks, athletics fans from around the world have been casting their votes on the World Athletics Instagram page, whittling down a long list of 16 moments.

In the final stage of voting, Rudisha was up against Eliud Kipchoge’s marathon world record from Berlin in 2018. The votes were close, but Rudisha ultimately had the edge, 1151 votes to Kipchoge’s 939.

Rudisha’s victory in London in 2012 was the greatest moment of the Kenyan’s career. Leading up to those Games, he had twice broken the world record in 2010 and won the world title in 2011. He arrived in London undefeated throughout the 2012 season and with the four fastest times in the world that year. Unsurprisingly, he started as the overwhelming favorite.

But few would have predicted that Rudisha would have been capable of breaking his own world record in a non-paced championship setting. One of the few people who perhaps had an inkling of what was to come was Kenyan teammate Timothy Kitum, whom Rudisha had told before the race: “Don’t follow me or you’ll die towards the end. Go for the silver.”

It turned out to be good advice as Rudisha was unchallenged. He passed through 200m in 23.4 and 400m in 49.28. He already had a two-metre lead as he entered the back straight for the second time and his advantage only grew as the race progressed, reaching 600m in 1:14.30.

Urged on by the 80,000 fans who were sensing a stunning moment in the making, the long-striding Rudisha maintained his lead to the finish, crossing the line in 1:40.91 and punching the air as he did so, a lifetime’s ambition realised.

“I have waited for this moment for a long time,” said Rudisha. “I had no doubt about winning, but to come here and get a world record is unbelievable.”

(12/26/2019) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Nike’s Fastest Shoes May Give Runners an Even Bigger Advantage Than First Thought

Anyone who saw Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya break the two-hour marathon barrier in October very likely saw something else, too: the thick-soled Nike running shoes on his feet, and, in a blaze of pink, on the feet of the pacers surrounding him.

These kinds of shoes from Nike — which feature carbon plates and springy midsole foam — have become an explosive issue among runners, as professional and amateur racers alike debate whether the shoes save so much energy that they amount to an unfair advantage.

A new analysis by The New York Times, an update of the one conducted last summer, suggests that the advantage these shoes bestow is real — and larger than previously estimated.

At the moment, they appear to be among only a handful of popular shoes that matter at all for race performance, and the gap between them and the next-fastest popular shoe has only widened.

We found that a runner wearing the most popular versions of these shoes available to the public — the Zoom Vaporfly 4% or ZoomX Vaporfly Next% — ran 4 to 5 percent faster than a runner wearing an average shoe, and 2 to 3 percent faster than runners in the next-fastest popular shoe. (There was no meaningful difference between the Vaporfly and Next% shoes when we measured their effects separately. We have combined them in our estimates.)

This difference is not explained by faster runners choosing to wear the shoes, by runners choosing to wear them in easier races or by runners switching to the shoes after running more training miles. In a race between two marathoners of the same ability, a runner wearing these shoes would have a significant advantage over a competitor not wearing them.

The shoes, which retail for $250, confer an advantage on all kinds of runners: men and women, fast runners and slower ones, hobbyists and frequent racers.

Many other brands, including Brooks, Saucony, New Balance, Hoka One One and Asics, have introduced similar shoes to the market or plan to. These shoes may provide the same advantage or an even larger one, but most do not yet appear in sufficient numbers in our data to measure their effectiveness.

What makes these shoes different is, among other things, a carbon-fiber plate in the midsole, which stores and releases energy with each stride and is meant to act as a kind of slingshot, or catapult, to propel runners. The shoes also feature midsole foam that researchers say contributes to increased running economy.

Whether the shoes violate rules from track’s governing body, World Athletics, depends on how one interprets this sentence from its rulebook: “Shoes must not be constructed so as to give athletes any unfair assistance or advantage.” It does not specify what such an advantage might be.

“We need evidence to say that something is wrong with a shoe,” a spokesman for the governing body, then called the I.A.A.F., told The Times last year. “We’ve never had anyone bring some evidence to convince us.”

In an announcement earlier this year, the group said, “It is clear that some forms of technology would provide an athlete with assistance that runs contrary to the values of the sport.” It has since appointed a technical committee to study the shoe question, and to make a report with recommendations. (The report was originally intended to be released to the public by the end of the year; it will now reportedly be released in 2020.)

When we asked Nike last year about whether its shoes might violate I.A.A.F. rules, a spokesman said the shoe “meets all I.A.A.F. product requirements and does not require any special inspection or approval.”

Last Thursday, the company said in a statement, “We respect the I.A.A.F. and the spirit of their rules, and we do not create any running shoes that return more energy than the runner expends.”

There is no such thing as a large-scale randomized control trial for marathons and shoes, but there is Strava, a fitness app that calls itself the social network for athletes. Nearly each weekend, thousands of runners compete in races, record their performance data on satellite watches or smartphones, and upload their race data to the app. This data includes things like a race name, finish time, per-mile splits and overall elevation profile. And about one in four races includes self-reported information about a runner’s shoes.

In all, this data includes race results from about 577,000 marathons and 496,000 half marathons in dozens of countries from April 2014 to December 2019.

How we measured the shoes’ effect

[These approaches are essentially identical to the ones The Times used last summer. See that article for more examples and methodological details.]

We measured the shoes’ performance using four different methods — each with its own strengths and flaws:

1. Using statistical models2. Studying groups of runners who ran the same pair of races3. Following runners as they switch shoes4. Measuring the likelihood of a personal record in a pair of shoes

None of these approaches are perfect, but they all point to the same conclusion: Something is happening in races with the Vaporfly and Nike Next% shoes that is not happening with most any other kind of popular shoe.

Besides race times and the names of shoes, we also have data on runners’ gender and approximate age. For some of the more serious runners, we have detailed information about their training volume in the months leading up to a race. We also know about the weather on race day.

When we put this information into a statistical model, times associated with Vaporfly and Next% shoes are a clear outlier — about 2 percent faster than with the next-fastest shoe. The model estimates the effect of wearing these shoes compared with the effect of wearing other shoes.

No statistical model is perfect, and it’s possible that runners who choose to wear Vaporfly or Next% shoes are somehow different from runners who do not. Regardless of the decisions that went into this model — even when trying to control for runners’ propensity to wear the shoes in the first place — the outputs were similar.

Strava is very popular among runners. At last year’s Berlin Marathon, for example, more than 10,000 runners uploaded race information to Strava, and this year, more than 14,000 did. Crucially for our purposes, about a thousand of those runners ran both races, and a subset of them reported racing in different shoes.

We could then examine the change in performance of two similar runners — people with similar race performances and, ideally, training regimens — and compare the improvement of a runner who switched shoes with a runner who did not. In Berlin, runners who switched to Vaporfly or Next% shoes improved their times more than runners who did not, on average.

For two athletes and a single pair of races, this might not tell us much. But in our data, there are thousands of instances when pairs of runners ran in the same two races.

When we perform this calculation for every pair of races in our data and measure the effect of switching to any kind of popular shoe, we see that runners who switch to these Nike shoes improved significantly more than runners who switched to any other kind of shoe. No other shoe comes close to having the same effect.

More than 110,000 athletes uploaded data for more than one marathon, and about 47,000 uploaded data for three or more marathons. The Strava data allows us to follow these repeat racers over time and as they change shoes.

When we aggregate the change in race times for runners the first time they switch to a new pair of shoes, runners who switched to Vaporflys or Next% shoes improved their times more than runners who switched to any other kind of popular shoe.

Race times are, in many ways, a crude way to measure performance. One marathon may be hilly or full of sharp turns; others may be flat and straight. Weather, too, is important, with higher temperatures typically resulting in slower times. And yet race times are how runners qualify for prestigious races, like the Boston Marathon, and most runners know their personal best times by heart, regardless of whether the race they ran was flat or hilly, on a hot day or a cold one.

We can follow the runners in our data with this measure in mind, testing whether a runner’s fastest time is more likely when he or she switches to any kind of shoe.

Someone can run a personal best for all kinds of reasons unrelated to shoes. A runner may train more, execute a better strategy on race day or run an easier course. Regardless, we found that runners who switched to these shoes were more likely to run their fastest race than runners who switched to any other kind of popular shoe.

(12/16/2019) ⚡AMP
by Kevin Qealy and Josh Katz
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Eliud Kipchoge believes he can break the marathon world record in London

Eliud Kipchoge believes he could break his own world record when he bids to become the first able-bodied athlete to win the Virgin Money London Marathon for a fifth time next April. 

The Kenyan superstar, who created history with his groundbreaking run of 1:59:41 in October, has announced he will race in the UK capital once again in 2020 for the 40th edition of an event he has won four times in four appearances. 

Kipchoge’s sub-two-hour run in Vienna was not eligible to be considered for world record purposes, given the controlled conditions in which it was achieved, but he can see the two-hour barrier being broken in a big city marathon in the not-too-distant future. 

For now, the official world record stands as the 2:01:39 which the Olympic champion ran in Berlin last year and, though he insists there is plenty of training to do between now and the London race day of April 26, he won’t rule out going quicker come springtime.  

“Absolutely,” was Kipchoge’s answer when asked if he could create yet more history in London, where he won in a time of 2:02:37 earlier this year which broke his own course record. “It is possible.”

Has what he achieved in Vienna in fact given him the confidence that anything is possible?

“Absolutely, yes.”

Kipchoge is undoubtedly the dominant force in world marathon and his achievements have gained recognition across the globe, with the 35-year-old currently in Britain to attend the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, where he will receive the World Sport Star of the Year award.

He is feted as a hero, too, in his native country, where he received a very different kind of medal. 

“Everyone in Kenya is recognising me,” he said. “I can say it is a crazy time. There was no need for a big procession because the president honoured me with the national certificate. I was given the honour – the golden heart – the highest recognition by the Head of State.”

(12/15/2019) ⚡AMP
by Euan Crumley (Athletics Weekly)
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...

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Eliud Kipchoge will defend his title at the 2020 London Marathon

World Athlete of the Year Eliud Kipchoge will defend his title at the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon, a World Athletics Platinum event, set to take place in the British capital on 26 April.

Kipchoge, who earlier this year became the first person to cover 42.195km within two hours, has his sights set on continuing his incredible streak of record-breaking performances at what will be the 40th edition of the London Marathon.

In September last year he set an official world record of 2:01:39 in Berlin, then in April earlier this year he smashed his own course record to win in London in 2:02:37. The Olympic champion from Kenya will be aiming to become the first person to win five London Marathon titles.

Kipchoge is currently tied with Ingrid Kristiansen in the London Marathon history books for the most wins by an able-bodied athlete. The Norwegian great won four London Marathon titles between 1984 and 1988.

If Kipchoge continues his unbeaten run at the London Marathon next April – where he won in 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019 – he will surpass Kristiansen’s tally.

“I am delighted to be returning to the Virgin Money London Marathon in 2020,” said Kipchoge. “I love running in London where the crowd support is always wonderful. Breaking the two-hour barrier in Vienna was an incredible moment. It showed that no human is limited and that is a belief that continues to drive me on to set new objectives.

“Making history in London is my next target. I am proud that I am currently the only male able-bodied athlete to have won this great race four times and that no one, male or female, has won it more than that.

“Eliud Kipchoge is the greatest marathon runner of all time,” said event director Hugh Brasher. “Eliud’s belief that no human is limited resonated with millions in every walk of life and we are delighted that this extraordinary and truly inspirational man will be part of the 40th race.”

Kipchoge was given the highest honour of Kenya following his performance in Vienna, the Elder of the Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya (EGH).

As well as his four Virgin Money London Marathon titles and the Olympic gold medal he won in Rio in 2016, Kipchoge has also won the Berlin Marathon on three occasions and the Chicago Marathon once. In addition, he has won the overall Abbott World Major Marathon series titles four times.

He is the first of the elite runners to be announced for the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon. Further names will be revealed in January.

 

(12/15/2019) ⚡AMP
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...

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15 Mind-Blowing Race Moments From 2019-From Kipchoge to Kosgei and all of the upsets, records, and victories in between, 2019 was a major year for running.

1-Kosgei Shocks Everyone in Chicago-On October 13, Brigid Kosgei made history when she won the Chicago Marathon in 2:14:04. The Kenyan ran almost perfectly even splits to achieve her goal in the Windy City, passing the halfway mark in 1:06:59 before clocking 1:07:05 for the second half.

2-Eliud Kipchoge Dips Under 2-Hour Marathon Barrier-In his second attempt at breaking the two-hour barrier in the marathon, Eliud Kipchogeof Kenya accomplished the feat with a stunning run of 1:59:40 on the streets of Vienna in October.

3-Joan Samuelson Crushes Her Goal 40 Years After Boston Victory-In 1979, Joan Benoit Samuelson set a national and course record when she won the Boston Marathon as a 21-year-old college student. Forty years after her historic victory, Samuelson, 61, set out to run within 40 minutes of her winning time at the 2019 Boston Marathon. On April 15, the 1984 Olympic champion wore a similar Bowdoin College singlet to honor her 1979 win and shattered her goal, crossing the finish line in 3:04. “To be here, 40 years later and being able to run, let alone being able to run a marathon, I feel blessed,” she said.

4-Jim Walmsley Obliterates His Own Western States Record-Ultrarunning star Jim Walmsley maintained his Western States winning streak when he obliterated his own course record in June. Navigating 100 miles from Squaw Valley to Auburn, California, Walmsley broke the tape in 14 hours and 9 minutes, which broke his own course record by more than 20 minutes

5-Donavan Brazier Breaks 34-Year-Old American Record-Donavan Brazier had the race of his life when he broke one of the oldest American records on his way to winning gold in the 800 meters at the IAAF World Championshipsin Doha, Qatar. With 250-meters to go, Brazier ran away from the field to secure the first 800-meter world championship gold medal for the United States in a time of 1:42.34. 

6-Dalilah Muhammad Sets World Record Twice-Dalilah Muhammad made history twice this season when she broke the 400-meter hurdles world record and lowered it once again on her way to winning the world championships.

7-Sifan Hassan Wins Unprecedented Double at Worlds-At the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Sifan Hassan won two gold medals that no man or woman has achieved in the history of the world championships or Olympic Games. The Dutch runner, 26, kicked off the competition by winning the 10,000-meter final in a national record time of 30:17:33. 

8-Maggie Guterl Becomes First Woman to Win Backyard Ultra-For 60 hours straight, Maggie Guterl ran the same 4.2-mile trail loop to become the last runner standing in the Big’s Backyard Ultra race. The Durango, Colorado, native ran 250 miles on her way to becoming the first woman to win the brutal race that rewards the person who can run for the longest amount of time.

9-Geoffrey Kamworor Breaks Half Marathon World Record-Holding a 4:25-mile pace, Geoffrey Kamworor of Kenya shattered the world record at the Copenhagen Half Marathon in September, running 58:01. The performance, which was 17 seconds faster than the previous record, took place in the same city where the 26-year-old won his first of three half marathon world championship titles in 2014.

10-Joyciline Jepkosgei Debuts in NYC Marathon, Beats Mary Keitany-In her first marathon, Joyciline Jepkosgei of Kenya secured a title in a major upset. The half marathon world record-holder raced like a veteran in the New York City Marathonto beat four-time champion Mary Keitany in a winning time of 2:22:38, only seven seconds shy of the course record.

11-Kenenisa Bekele Wins Berlin Marathon 2 Seconds Shy of World Record-One year after Eliud Kipchoge set a world record that many believed would be untouchable for at least a few years, Kenenisa Bekele nearly surpassed it at the Berlin Marathon. The 37-year-old Ethiopian won the race in 2:01:41, just two seconds shy of Kipchoge’s record. 

12-Freshman Sha’Carri Richardson Shatters 100-meter Collegiate Record-In her first ever NCAA Outdoor Championship, Sha’Carri Richardson made history. In the 100-meter final, the LSU freshman sprinted to victory in a collegiate record of 10.75.

13-Drew Hunter, Athing Mu, and Colleen Quigley Win First Pro Titles-The USATF Indoor Championships brought out exciting breakthroughs for three young athletes. In the men’s 2-mile, 21-year-old Drew Hunter won the crown out of the “slower” heat by running a world-best time of 8:25.29. The women’s 600 meters was won by 16-year-old Athing Mu who defeated world silver medalist Raevyn Rogers in an American record time of 1:23.57.

14-BYU Snaps NAU’s Winning Streak at the NCAA Cross Country Championships-The Brigham Young team had a banner day at the NCAA Cross Country Championshipsin November. Battling muddy conditions, the BYU Cougars secured the team victory over three-time defending champions Northern Arizona in the men’s race. With a team total of 109 points, BYU beat NAU by 54 points to win the program’s first NCAA cross-country championship in history.

15-Joshua Cheptegei Sets 10K World Record After Winning Two World Titles-Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda capped off a banner year when he set a world record in the 10K on December 1, running 26:38 to win the 10K Valencia Trinidad Alfonso in Valencia, Spain. Earlier this year, he won the world cross-country championships and the world championship 10,000 meters in Doha, Qatar.

 

(12/15/2019) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge has been awarded a Doctorate Degree of Law by the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom

According to the university, he was honored due to his commitment in the field of sports and being a marathon record holder.

The award comes days after Laikipia University also conferred Kipchoge a Doctorate Degree in Science during its seventh graduation ceremony.

An honorary degree is an academic degree for which a university has waived the usual requirements such as enrollment, a dissertation and the passing of comprehensive examination.

It is also known by the Latin phrases honoris causa ("for the sake of the honor") or ad honorem ("to the honor").

The degree is typically a doctorate or less commonly, a master’s degree, and may be awarded to someone who has no prior connection with the academic institution or no previous post-secondary education.

The degree is often conferred as a way of honoring a distinguished person's contributions to a specific field or to society in general.

(12/14/2019) ⚡AMP
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World marathon record holder, Mary Keitany said she is delighted that the national government through the president has finally rewarded her success

President Uhuru Kenyatta Thursday feted marathoner Mary Jepkosgei Keitany with the Order of the Grand Warrior of Kenya (OGW) award during the Jamhuri Day celebrations garden party at State House, Nairobi.

Speaking to Nation Sport on Friday, Keitany said that the award came as a surprise to her at a time she is almost retiring from the sport.

“I’m happy that the president has finally rewarded my exploits in the sport. Since I started running, this is the first time I have been rewarded by the government,” said the former New York Marathon champion.

Keitany also said that after being rewarded, she feels energized and will be looking forward to a good season next year.

“The award has given me morale to continue working hard and I want to say that I will be training harder for better results next year. For now, I’m still recovering after the New York Marathon race which I managed to come in second,” said Keitany, who is also the former World Half Marathon record holder.

Keitany uses some of her race earnings to support development in her community having partnered with Shoe4Africa to build a school in Eldama Ravine, Baringo County.

Keitany becomes the second marathon star to be recognized by the president after world men's marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge who was feted with Elder of the Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya (E.G.H.) award during Mashujaa Day celebrations in October in Mombasa.

(12/13/2019) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...

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A New York Times study finds the Nike Next% and Vaporfly could lead runners to improved odds of a personal best

The New York Times repeated, with a larger sample size, the study of the Nike Vaporfly that they conducted in 2018. Their updated study included the Nike Next% and the findings were surprising. We knew the Vaporfly and Next% were arguably some of the best shoes on the market, but the NYT finds that their current dominance is undeniable.

The New York Times repeated, with a larger sample size, the study of the Nike Vaporfly that they conducted in 2018. Their updated study included the Nike Next% and the findings were surprising. We knew the Vaporfly and Next% were arguably some of the best shoes on the market, but the NYT finds that their current dominance is undeniable.

The study founds that, “The Zoom Vaporfly 4% or ZoomX Vaporfly Next% — ran 4 to 5 percent faster than a runner wearing an average shoe, and 2 to 3 percent faster than runners in the next-fastest popular shoe.” The name four per cent was born out of Nike’s finding that the shoe could make the wearer four per cent more efficient–efficiency translates to less effort at the same pace, which means a runner can go faster. So the claim that the shoe makes a runner faster as opposed to simply more efficient is new.

Another key finding was that men had a 73 per cent chance of running a personal best in the shoes, while women had a 74 per cent chance, “In a race between two marathoners of the same ability, a runner wearing these shoes would have a significant advantage over a competitor not wearing them.” The Times also reports, “In the final months of 2019, about 41 per cent of marathons under three hours were reported to have been run in these shoes (for races in which we have data).”

When someone first comes to running, they find that after the initial agony of getting your legs used to the motion, there’s quick improvement. You’ll run a 5K personal best and then a subsequent PB just weeks (or even days) later. Because you’re new to the sport, the time melts away in the first few races.

But as you progress and become better, it can take months and even years to run a personal best. And for the competitive runner, staying patient is the hardest part. But what if someone told that runner who’d been trying to PB for 14 months, 27 days and 13 hours, that if they spent $330 CAD they had a 73 per cent chance at finally improving? If they have the budget, that’s an appealing statistic.

Two weeks ago Molly Huddle, who has the sixth-fastest marathon time among American women in 2019 (she ran a personal best 2:26:33 at the London Marathon), replied to a tweet by sports journalist Cathal Dennehy about the AlphaFly (Nike’s next step in the carbon-plated game). The shoe was first seen on the feet of marathon world record-holder Eliud Kipchoge, who raced to a 1:59:40 finish in them at the INEOS 1:59 Challenge in Vienna last month. Huddle’s comment: “Kinda nervous as to how this would affect the Olympic Trials over here @usatf.”

It’s not just Huddle who has noticed the effect the shoe (or prototype versions) could have on the US Olympic Marathon Trials. Runners are qualifying for the event at unprecedented rates. With the qualifying window still open for another five weeks, entries are already nearing the thousands.

It’s important to note that the qualifying standard for the trials did get two minutes easier (2:43 in 2016 to 2:45 in 2020). But does two minutes warrant a potentially doubled field size or are technological advantages, like the Nike shoes, the reason for the jump? The New York Times’ finding would suggest the latter.

(12/13/2019) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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European record-breaking Turkish athlete Kaan Kigen Ozbilen thinks he can run a marathon under 2:04:00 and win a medal in Tokyo

Ozbilen broke Mo Farah’s European record in the Valencia Marathon on Dec. 1, finishing at 2:04:16 mark, nearly a minute better than Farah's 2:05:11.

Ozbilen finished the race at second place, trailing only to Ethiopian debutant Kinde Atanew, who won in a course record of 2:03:51.

"My training partner is the world record-holder Eliud Kipchoge and all my training level was showing under 2:04:00. So, it was an expected result which had to come earlier. But before the world championship in June, l broke a toe and lost six weeks of training and possibly a world medal," Ozbilen told Anadolu Agency on Monday.

"I am very happy to be a part of European athletic history," Ozbilen said. "My next goal and dream is the Tokyo Olympics medal."

The 33-year-old runner also added that he is planning to run until he is 40.

The athletes have professional family lives and 33 is a mature age, he said, adding that he is also planning to race in the 2024 Olympics.

Responding to a question on the secrets of his success, he noted: "The majority of this comes from genetics. It is about choosing the correct discipline, and my results show l chose marathon as the correct discipline for myself."

"What I see in Turkey is a problem in talent selection and very few clubs are supporting athletes at very low incomes.

"You can not expect a young athlete to grow for European record only with 2,000-3,000 Turkish lira ($345-$517) monthly support," Ozbilen stressed.

Noting that a-2:04:16 marathon result is not a one-day result, but it is "a 10 years [long] journey," he said, adding that it starts at young ages with successful middle distance results, such as 3:35-3:37 maximum for 1,500 meters (4,921 feet).

"After the athlete moves to 5,000 m and 10,000 m, you must reach 13-13:10 in 5,000 m and you must run around or under 28 minutes in 10,000 m," he added.

The federation and clubs must give Turkish athletes long term sufficient and individual support to have successful results, he added.

Indicating that breaking the world record would not be easy, he said: "Definitely, I will do my best and develop. I put my goals step by step and now my next step is to run under 2:04 and to get a medal in the Tokyo Olympics."

In response to a question on the reason for running for the Turkish flag as a Kenyan-origin athlete, "I love to run for the Turkish flag. Firstly to clarify, l did not get any money or any promise to be Turkish," he stressed.

"My brother Onder Ozbilen was in Kenya and he was known as a big brother in my region for selecting young talents. It took me a year to convince him that l still have big targets.

"We started to run after our dream. To be the best of Europe in front of Mo Farah's record was a dream that only we believed in and now we will go to our new dream of Olympic or World medal."

(12/11/2019) ⚡AMP
by Fatih Erel
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, from July 24 to August 9, 2020. The Games in 1964 radically transformed the country. According to the organizers of the event in 2020, the Games of the XXXII Olympiad of the modern era will be “the most innovative...

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Eritrean born Efren Gidey, went from refugee to U20 podium at Euro Cross

The European Cross Country Championships took place in Lisbon, Portugal on Sunday, with Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen taking home gold in the 6.2K U20 race for the fourth straight year, and by a 38-second margin. Ayetullah Aslanhan of Turkey was second. But most astonishing was Eritrean-born Efrem Gidey, racing for Ireland for the first time, bringing home the bronze medal and contributing to his team’s fourth-place finish.

According to a report by the Irish news outlet RTÉ Sport, Gidey’s participation wasn’t assured until the last minute, due to visa issues. The athlete had spent six months in a refugee camp in Calais with his family before landing in Dublin in March, 2017. He runs with the Clonliffe Harriers, where he didn’t excel right away (small wonder, considering what he had been through, and that he arrived speaking no English), but soon found his niche. Earlier this year Gidey set a national record for Ireland of 14:34.22 in the senior boys’ 5,000m.

In the 10.2K senior men’s race, another Eritrean-born athlete, Robel Fsiha of Sweden, took gold. Aras Kaya of Turkey was second, and Yemaneberhan Crippa of Italy was third. (Julien Wanders, pacer to Eliud Kipchoge at INEOS 1:59, finished just off the podium in fourth place. Filip Ingebrigtsen, last year’s champion, finished 12th. All three Ingebrigtsen brothers also ran as pacers for Kipchoge.)

In the 8.3K senior women’s race, Turkey’s Yasemin Can won gold for the fourth consecutive year. Karoline Bjerkeli Grøvdal of Norway took silver and Samrawit Mengsteab of Sweden won bronze.

In the 4.3K U20 women’s race, Nadia Battocletti of Italy won gold, Klara Lukan of Slovakia took silver and Mariana Machado of Portugal won bronze.

In the 8.3K U23 men’s race, Jimmy Gressier of France won gold, Elzan Bibic of Serbia took silver, and Abdessamad Oukhelfen of Spain took bronze. In the 6.3K U23 women’s race, Anna Emilie Møller of Denmark won gold, Jasmijn Lau of the Netherlands won silver and Stephanie Cotter of Ireland took bronze.

The course, which had a short (500m) loop and a longer 1,500m loop, featured some tight turns and some hills, but although conditions were overcast, it did not appear particularly muddy.

(12/10/2019) ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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Eliud Kipchoge, has told Reuters he will defend his Olympic title in Tokyo next year, if he is selected

Eliud Kipchoge, the greatest marathon runner in history, the world record holder and only man to go under two hours for the distance, has told Reuters he will defend his Olympic title in Tokyo next year – if selected.

It should be reasonably safe to assume, even taking into account the often chaotic and inexplicable selection procedures that have long dogged Kenyan athletics, that Kipchoge will be given the chance to run next August.

“If selected I will be there.” he told Reuters in an exclusive interview in Nairobi on Tuesday. “It (Tokyo) is at the front of my mind, and I trust and believe that when the time comes I will be on the starting line.”

That line will now be in the northern city of Sapporo, where the marathons and walking events have been moved by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in a bid to avoid the worst of the debilitating heat and humidity of the Tokyo area.

But Kipchoge, as ever, was careful not to voice a strong opinion on the issue.

“I think the medals are the same,” he said. “I will be among the competitors, I don’t complain, I’m in the hands of the IOC and anywhere they decide, I will go with it.”

That will be music to the ears of the organisers, especially in marathon-mad Japan, where the 35-year-old will be treated to the sort of adulation last seen when sprinter Usain Bolt was sweeping all before him.

Kipchoge has won 11 of his 12 official marathons, including the 2016 Rio Olympics, and with the world record and the sub-two hour mark under his belt, along with a string of lucrative big-city races he is a colossus of his sport.

(12/04/2019) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, from July 24 to August 9, 2020. The Games in 1964 radically transformed the country. According to the organizers of the event in 2020, the Games of the XXXII Olympiad of the modern era will be “the most innovative...

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Kenya's Marius Kipserem will face his compatriot Dickson Chumba in his quest to defend Abu Dhabi marathon title

Kenya's Marius Kipserem believes nothing will stop him in his bid to retain the Abu Dhabi Marathon on Friday.

The women's race will invoke a teammate rivalry as Kenya's Vivian Kiplagat (2:22:25) and Bahrain's Eunice Chumba (2:24:27), who is 10,000m silver medalist of Asian Athletics Championships in Wuhan, China.

However, unlike last year during the inaugural race, Kipserem will have to dig deeper if he has to keep at bay his rivals led by compatriot and former Chicago and Tokyo Marathon winner Dickson Chumba.

"I have done well in training and am focused on the race in Abu Dhabi. I have no pressure whatsoever because I know what work, I have put in and what is expected.

There are other runners with a higher pedigree and records, but the reality on the race day is how prepared one is in the mind and fitness," Kipserem said on Tuesday.

Kipserem won the 2018 Rotterdam in 2:06:11 in April and improved that record to 2:4:12 in Abu Dhabi in December.

"I am going to defend my title and hopefully with a better time than last year," Kipserem added. In winning the inaugural race in Abu Dhabi, Kipserem stopped the clock at 2:04:12.

He is hoping to shave off two minutes to join the elusive club of marathon runners who have hit the two hours and two minutes' mark, currently held by just around four runners - Kenenisa Bekele (2:01.42), Eliud Kipchoge (2:01.39), Birhanu Legese and Dennis Kimetto.

"Everyone wants to compete in the big city marathons and after Abu Dhabi, I believe London will be the next stage, which I consider a good trial for the Tokyo Olympics. London is very important for me because a good result can earn me a spot in Kenya's four-member marathon team at the Olympics," he added.

Kipserem made the Kipchoge's INEOS 1:59 Challenge. He was part of the 31 pacesetters, who were contracted to help Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge to accomplish his task to become the first man to run the 42km distance in less than two hours. Kipchoge stopped the clock at 1:59.40.

Chumba (2:04:32), who will provide the challenge to Kipserem, has not had a good season. He failed to defend his Tokyo marathon title and was seventh at the Chicago marathon in October.

"I feel strong after the Chicago race. In Tokyo, it was wet and slippery and I had to slow down to avoid injury. I have not raced since then and will be happy to go to Abu Dhabi and win against the strong athletes lined up," Chumba said.

(12/03/2019) ⚡AMP
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ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon

ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon

The Abu Dhabi Marathon is shaping up to being first class marathon for both elite runners and average runners as well. Take in the finest aspects of Abu Dhabi's heritage, modern landmarks and the waters of the Arabian Gulf, at this world-class athletics event, set against the backdrop of the Capital's stunning architecture.The race offered runners of all abilities the...

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Kaan Kigen Ozbilen from Turkey smashed Mo Farah’s European record in the Valencia Marathon on Sunday, clocking 2:04:16 to finish second behind Ethiopian debutant Kinde Atanew

Farah’s now-beaten mark of 2:05:11 moved into Ozbilen’s view after he finished second in the Rotterdam Marathon in April in 2:05:27 to become the second fastest European marathon runner in history and Ozbilen credits following the instructions of the venerable Kenyan coach Patrick Sang for taking him below this record.

Ozbilen had to settle for the runner-up spot again but the 33-year-old has taken the European record into new territory, slashing almost one minute off Farah’s mark which was set in the Chicago Marathon last October. There is unlikely to be a riposte from Farah next spring after the Brit announced on Friday he is aiming to contest the 10,000m at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Ozbilen was on pace to eclipse Farah’s mark from the gun and the former European cross country champion passed through the halfway mark in 61:58 which put him on course for a sub-2:04 clocking. As the temperatures rose and the leading group splintered, Ozbilen drifted off this schedule slightly but the Turk was never in danger of relinquishing his grip on the record, securing his second podium finish of the season in 2:04:16.

“I’ve been training with the best group in the world - the wonderful Patrick Sang who is coaching Eliud Kipchoge. I was expecting to run well but I was only at 80 percent because I had a problem but today it was my day. Everything went the way I wanted it,” Ozbilen told Alberto Stretti after the race. 

On whether Kipchoge had imparted any advice or words of wisdom ahead of the race, Ozbilen added: “Eliud told me ‘you are capable of winning this race because we have been training together and in every section we have been finishing together.”

In a high calibre race, Norway’s Sondre Nordstad Moen made an excellent comeback after a series of setbacks since running a European record of 2:05:48 to win the Fukuoka Marathon in 2017. In his first completed marathon since that race almost two years ago, Moen finished seventh in 2:06:16 to easily secure the Olympic qualifying standard for 2020.

The theme of Scandinavian success continued as David Nilsson broke the long-standing Swedish record, finishing 16th in 2:10:09 to improve Kjell-Erik Stahl’s mark of 2:10:38 which had stood since the 1983 World Championships. Nilsson recorded near identical halfway splits of 65:05 and 65:04.

(12/02/2019) ⚡AMP
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VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO MARATHON

VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO MARATHON

Sammy Kiprop Kitwara set a Spanish all-comers’ record at the 2017 Maraton Valencia Trinidad Alfonso, the 31-year-old Kenyan produced a 2:05:15 effort to finish almost a full minute inside the previous record, moving to seventh on this year’s world list in the process. Ethiopia’s Aberu Mekuria Zennebe won the women’s race in 2:26:17 to improve on her fourth-place finish from...

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Four-time Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah has announced he will return to the 10,000m on the track next year in a bid to win a fifth Olympic title in Tokyo

The British distance runner hung up his track spikes at the end of 2017 after the World Athletics Championships in London, where he earned his sixth world title by winning the 10,000m and claimed silver in the 5000m.

He shifted his focus to the roads in 2018, placing third at the London Marathon and then winning in Chicago with a European record of 2:05:11.

He came close to his marathon PB in London earlier this year, finishing fifth in 2:05:39, three minutes behind eventual winner Eliud Kipchoge. In his most recent race, last month’s Chicago Marathon, Farah placed eighth in 2:09:58, four minutes adrift of winner Lawrence Cherono.

“It has been really exciting to compete in the marathon for the past couple of years,” said Farah, who won Olympic 5000m-10,000m doubles in 2012 and 2016. “To win the Chicago Marathon, a major marathon, was nice. To finish third at the London Marathon was good.

“It’s been a great learning curve for me. Doing a marathon and to run 2:05, a European record, it was very exciting. The training for it was totally different to the track.

“I have decided that next year at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games I’m going to be back on the track,” he added. “I’m really excited to be competing back on the track and to give it a go in the 10,000m. Hopefully I haven’t lost my speed, but I’ll train hard for it and see what I can do. It’s exciting.”

Farah’s last 10,000m on the track was at the 2017 World Championships where he won in 26:49.51 with Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei finishing second. Cheptegei, the world cross-country champion, has now succeeded Farah as the world champion at the distance after the 23-year-old won in Doha in 26:48.36.

Farah’s 2017 victory in London and Cheptegei’s recent triumph in Doha played out in similar fashion. Their splits at 9000m were near identical (Farah 24:20.69 in London, Cheptegei 24:20.79 in Doha). But Cheptegei was faster than Farah in the final 1000m (2:27.57 v 2:28.82), 800m (1:56.63 v 1:57.55) and 400m (55.38 v 55.63).

Should Farah recapture his speed from his peak track-racing days, it would make for a mouth-watering clash against Cheptegei, one of the most exciting distance runners in the world at present.

If Farah, who will turn 37 in March next year, earns a medal or even simply finishes in the top 10 in Tokyo, he will make history. No one aged 37 or older has ever finished in the top 10 in a men’s 10,000m final at the Olympic Games. Mamo Wolde was 36 years and four months when he earned silver in 1968, while fellow Ethiopian Miruts Yifter was 36 years and two months when he claimed gold in 1980.

(11/29/2019) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, from July 24 to August 9, 2020. The Games in 1964 radically transformed the country. According to the organizers of the event in 2020, the Games of the XXXII Olympiad of the modern era will be “the most innovative...

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Kenya´s Geoffrey Kirui recovers from tendon injury ahead of 2020 marathon

Former world marathon champion Geoffrey Kirui has started light training after shaking off a tendon injury that has limited his performance in the last two years.

Geoffrey Kirui, whose last marathon win came back in 2017 at the London World Championships, believes he will be back to his best ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, though he is not guaranteed a spot in the Kenya team.

However, Kirui is hopeful the 2020 season will bring better prospects for him, as he plots a big city marathon in March or April.

Both Tokyo and Boston marathons are open for him to choose, and he will wait for his management team to secure a good contract before committing.

"I have been running with some hesitation because of a nagging tendon injury in the last two months including during the World Championship in Doha, where I failed to defend my title."

"Injuries are things that each athlete has to live with but I have recovered and I am looking forward to the new season with high hopes," Kirui said on Thursday.

To show his commitment, the 26-year-old has opted to join the winning camp of Global Sports Communication, which is run by former steeplechaser Patrick Sang under the tutelage of Dutchman Jos Harmens.

It is the same training camp that features Olympic marathon champion and world record holder Eliud Kipchoge and New York Marathon winner Geoffrey Kamworor.

"I am focusing on building up for the new year even though my management is yet to enroll me in any marathon," he said.

Besides returning to the winner's podium in 2020, Kirui has high hopes of being able to improve on his personal best time of 2:06:27.

"It has been three years since I posted my best time in the marathon. I still have a lot of potential and now it is important to improve and maybe shed off about three minutes. With Sang, Kipchoge and Kamworor training together with me, I hope to hit this target," said Kirui.

"I believe I will be able to follow suit and be as successful as Kipchoge," he added.

(11/29/2019) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, from July 24 to August 9, 2020. The Games in 1964 radically transformed the country. According to the organizers of the event in 2020, the Games of the XXXII Olympiad of the modern era will be “the most innovative...

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What is Eliud Kipchoge secrets for being one of the best runners in the world ever

Consistency, self-discipline and hard work are the ingredients that made him retain the World Athletics Male Athlete of the Year title, Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge said on Sunday.

The world marathon record holder, who tuned 35 on November 5, edged out four other contestants to retain the award during the World Athletics gala in Monaco on Saturday night.

Kipchoge, who was not at the gala but accepted the accolade in a telecast interview, won the London Marathon on April 28 in a course record of two hours, two minutes and 37 seconds.

It was Kipchoge’s fourth victory in London, having staged similar exploits in 2015 (2:04:42), 2016 (2:03:05) and 2018 (2:04:17).

However, what perhaps engrossed the world was when he made history as the first man to run a marathon under two honors, completing the “Ineos 1:59 Challenge” in 1:59:40.2 on October 12 in Vienna, Austria.

This was the second time Kipchoge, the 2016 Rio Olympic Games marathon champion, was attempting to run a marathon under two hours, having fallen short by 26 seconds during the Nike Breaking2 on May 6, 2017, in Monza, Italy.

“Consistency is the key in sport while self-discipline is the mother and father of not only sports but any other undertaking,” said Kipchoge. “Working hard is recognizable in the world of sports.”

The athlete said that breaking the two-hour barrier was the true inspiration to the generation, what with 500 million people having watched the race live in the duration of 1:59.40.

“One billion people had watched by the end of the day on October 12. It goes further to affirm that no human is limited. It was truly historic for me since I’m sure I’ve helped some people kick out the limitations in their mind to achieve what they had deemed impossible,” he said.

(11/27/2019) ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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INEOS 1:59 Challenge

INEOS 1:59 Challenge

Mankind have constantly sought to reach new frontiers and to achieve the impossible. From Edmund Hillary reaching the summit of Mount Everest to Roger Bannister’s four-minute mile to Felix Baumgartner jumping from space we have frequently redefined the limits of human achievement and broken new barriers previously seen as simply impossible. After the four-minute mile and the ten second 100m...

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Eliud Kipchoge and Dalilah Muhammad named World Athletes of the year

Record-breakers Dalilah Muhammad and Eliud Kipchoge were named the World Athletics athletes of the year on Saturday.

Muhammad, who twice lowered the 400m hurdles world record last season, became the first athlete in her event to take the honor since Brit Sally Gunnell in 1993. And the first American woman to earn it from any event since Allyson Felix in 2012.

The Kenyan Kipchoge became the first repeat athlete of the year since Usain Bolt in 2012 and 2013. Kipchoge, who lowered the marathon world record by 78 seconds in 2018, became the first person to break two hours in a marathon on Oct. 12 in a non-record-eligible event.

The other female finalists were Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Dutch distance runner Sifan Hassan, Kenyan marathoner Brigid Kosgei and Venezuelan triple jumper Yulimar Rojas.

The other male finalists were Ugandan distance runner Joshua Cheptegei, American pole vaulter Sam Kendricks and sprinter Noah Lyles and Norwegian hurdler Karsten Warholm.

World Athletics is track and field’s international governing body, rebranded from IAAF this year. 

(11/24/2019) ⚡AMP
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