Kipchoge feeling the ‘pressure’ ahead of Berlin show

Eliud Kipchoge lead his training partners in a track work out at the Moi Universty ...
Eliud Kipchoge lead his training partners in a track work out at the Moi Universty School of Law Annex grounds on Tuesday, March 21, 2017. PHOTO/Jean Pierre/IAAF

Rio Olympic and two-time London Marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge is feeling the heat of being the top marathoner at the moment.

Kipchoge skipped the world athletics championships in London in August to concentrate on the Berlin marathon where he is expected to go for the world record.

Now the king of the road races admits there is immense pressure on him to lower the  2:02:57 world record on the streets of Berlin on September 24.

“I’m the only one who is under a lot of pressure among the three of us, if they have 40% then I have 90%, considering the time I put earlier (2:00.25) and the Olympic medal,” said the Rio Olympics Games winner.

It will not be a walk in the park for Kipchoge. The orgernisers of the Berlin Marathon have upped their game and sprinkled a good mix in the star studded marathon. London Olympics bronze medalist and former record holder Wilson Kipsang and defending champion from Ethiopia Kennisa Bekele announced their intentions to break the WR too.

“They are good athletes they are humans and I give them a lot of respect. I expect stiff competition from them since we are all at the top of our performances. In life there is only one winner. Three weeks ago we had a big boxing fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor. Mayweather was the winner and I hope to be top among the three,” said Kipchoge.

Kipsang and Bekele are not strangers to Kipchoge having met previously in other road races and most recently in the 2016 London Marathon. Here he became the second fastest man after missing the world record by eight seconds, but does not regret it after setting a course record of 2:03.05 for the top podium place.

Later that year in Berlin Marathon, Kipsang attempted to break the world record again but Bekele spoiled the party for him, shedding off two seconds off the world leading time to 2:03.03. As a result he was six seconds shy of the world record.

Bekele feels Kipchoge has an advantage over him having run unofficial world record of 2:00:25, during the Nike Breaking2 Marathon, the fastest time ever for the distance, on the Formula One circuit of Monza in Italy.

“I involved myself in the Nike Breaking2 project to remove doubts and show that there is no limitation to human beings be it in sports, marketing or anything one chooses to do.”

The 32-year-old Kipchoge will not be targeting a specific time in Berlin but will be happy with anything below 2:02.57.

“I rested for one whole month after the Nike Breaking2 and then came back to the basics. I believe that I have done my training well and I believe that my body is well even if it’s just a second, I shall be content with the official world record,” assured Kipchoge.

The father of two revealed that he normally covers 180 km -220km in a week during his training and his endorsement from Isuzu East Africa will come in handy.

Kipchoge signed a one year renewable contract with the brand which gave him a brand new double cab for his training and personal use and promised him another car if he breaks the world record.

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Story By Charity Wanja
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