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World Champ Cheptegei says Kipchoge is ‘Greatest of All Time’

Kipchoge seconds before he broke the marathon record. PHOTO @INEOS159

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Newly crowned World Athletics 10,000m Champion Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda has hailed Eliud Kipchoge for being the first man to run the marathon under two hours on Saturday, describing him as ‘the G.O.A.T’ (Greatest of All time).

“Today history was made. A huge congratulations to the goat @EliudKipchoge upon inspiring humanity. For sure #NoHumanIsLimited,” Cheptegei said on twitter, soon after the race in Vienna.

“You can do whatever your dream is only if you believe, 1:59:40 is absolutely phenomenal and will go down in history,” said Cheptegei, who also holds a world record time in another race, the 15km road race.

Cheptegei is only the second Ugandan after John Akii-Bua to hold a world best time, and has himself had an amazing year, in which he won golds in the World Cross Country, the Doha World Championship 10,000m  plus winning the  Diamond League 5000m final.

“What an amazing year it is,” he tweeted earlier. ” I finally become a world champion. Thanks to the people who have been part of this amazing journey right @Aarhus2019 to @IAAFDoha2019
Special thanks to my family, wife, training partners, #Teamug🇺🇬2019 @GlobalSportsCom.”

Kenya’s Kipchoge on Saturday made history, smashing the mythical two-hour barrier for the marathon in the “best moment” of his life on a specially prepared course in a vast Vienna park.

With a time of 1hr 59min 40.2sec, the Olympic champion became the first ever to run a marathon in under two hours in the Prater park with the course readied to make it as even as possible.

“I’m the happiest man today. The message that no human is limited is now in everybody’s mind,” an elated Kipchoge told reporters after the run, adding he expected more athletes to match his feat in the future

Six Ugandan pacemakers

Jacob Kiplimo 🇺🇬
Ronald Musagala 🇺🇬
Abdallah Mande 🇺🇬
Thomas Ayeko 🇺🇬
Mande Bushendich 🇺🇬
Timothy Toroitich 🇺🇬

Also exciting for many Ugandans, was that a team of six of their runners were among the pace setters as Kipchoge from Kenya set the new mark.

The were led by World Cross Country silver medalist Jacob Kiplimo, Ronald Musagala and Abdallah Mande, fresh from the World Athletics Championships.

The others were long distance aces Thomas Ayeko, Mande Bushendich and Timothy Toroitich, in a 41 team of pace setters.

Kipchoge with his 40 plus pacesetters. There are six Ugandans. PHOTO VIA @INEOS159
Gold medallist Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei

Fastest human over 15km

Cheptegei became only the second Ugandan athlete after legend Akii-Bua to set a world best time, with his stunning run last November at the 15km NN Zevenheuvelenloop (Seven Hills Race) in Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

He clocked the world’s fastest 15k in 41.05 minutes, taking 8 seconds off the previous mark set in 2010.

The Nijmegen race is a favourite for Cheptegei, who as a nineteen, twenty and 21-year-old, won the 32nd, 33rd and 34 editions before in 42.39, 42.12 and 41.13.

The Seven Hills Race Zevenheuvelenloop is considered the fastest course in the world, and the best time held before Sunday was by Leonard Komon of Kenya who ran a time of 41:13 in 2010.

In the foot-steps of Akii Bua

Cheptegei’s feat Sunday puts him in the league of world beaters, first achieved by Uganda’s most famous athlete, hurdler John Akii-Bua in 1972. Interestingly, like Akii-Bua, Cheptegei runs for Police.

Akii-Bua’s feat will live in memory. Not only did he brake the world record, he also became the first man ever to run under 48 seconds in what is considered a highly technical discipline, the 400m hurdles. (video Bottom)

He clocked 47.82 in that Munich Olympics final in Germany to take a phenomenal 0.3 seconds off the record set by the then greatest hurdler David Hemery four years earlier. More remarkable, was he run that final from the inside lane – considered the least favorite position in the one lap race.

In winning, Akii Bua, then 23, became the first East African athlete ever to set a world record either in the Olympics or in any other international athletics meet and the second African to do so after Abebe Bikila of Ethiopia at the 1964 Tokyo Games. Bikila won the Tokyo Marathon in 2 hours 12 minutes.

Akii-Bua in action. He was the first man to run the high hurdles under 48 seconds as he won Uganda’s first Olympic Gold medal in 1972. The only other Olympic gold has been from Stephen Kiprotich, in the marathon in 2012. FILE PHOTO via David Isabirye | Kawowo SportsHe missed the 1976 Olympics and a showdown with United States rival Edwin Moses because of the boycott by Uganda and other African nations. Edwin Moses went on to set a new world record in 1976 and to reign until Kevin Young became the first man to run under 47 seconds in 1992.

“While other runners were gasping for breath at the end of the race, the 6′ 2″ Ugandan skipped, jogged, jumped round the track – even leaped over a few more hurdles – on his victory lap. He is recognised as the inventor of the victory lap.”

He returned home to a jubilant nation. Then President Idi Amin Dada promoted him in police, for which he was running, named a street after him in the city, and gave him a car and house as prizes.

Because of international politics, with Africa pushing for the liberation of South Africa, he missed the 1976 Olympics and a showdown with United States rival Edwin Moses because of the boycott by Uganda and other African nations. Edwin Moses went on to set a new world record in 1976 and to reign until Kevin Young became the first man to run under 47 seconds in 1992.

Selected word records

Event Perf. Athlete(s) Nat. Date Meeting Location
100 m 9.58 Usain Bolt  JAM 16 Aug 2009 World Championships Berlin
200 m 19.19 Usain Bolt  JAM 20 Aug 2009 World Championships Berlin
400 m 43.03 Wayde van Niekerk  RSA 14 Aug 2016 Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro
800 m 1:40.91 David Rudisha  KEN 9 Aug 2012 Olympic Games London
1000 m 2:11.96 Noah Ngeny  KEN 5 Sep 1999 Rieti Meeting Rieti
1500 m 3:26.00 Hicham El Guerrouj  MAR 14 Jul 1998 Golden Gala Rome
Mile 3:43.13 Hicham El Guerrouj  MAR 7 Jul 1999 Golden Gala Rome
2000 m 4:44.79 Hicham El Guerrouj  MAR 7 Sep 1999 ISTAF Berlin
3000 m 7:20.67 Daniel Komen  KEN 1 Sep 1996 Rieti Meeting Rieti
5000 m 12:37.35 Kenenisa Bekele  ETH 31 May 2004 Fanny Blankers-Koen Games Hengelo
10,000 m (track) 26:17.53 Kenenisa Bekele  ETH 26 Aug 2005 Memorial Van Damme Brussels
10 km (road) 26:44 Leonard Patrick Komon  KEN 26 Sep 2010 Singelloop Utrecht
15 km (road) 41:05 Joshua Cheptegei  UGA 18 Nov 2018 Zevenheuvelenloop Nijmegen
20,000 m (track) 56:25.98 Haile Gebrselassie  ETH 27 Jun 2007 Golden Spike Ostrava Ostrava
20 km (road) 55:21 Zersenay Tadese  ERI 21 Mar 2010 Lisbon Half Marathon Lisbon
Half marathon 58:23 Zersenay Tadese  ERI 21 Mar 2010 Lisbon Half Marathon Lisbon
58:18 Abraham Kiptum  KEN 28 Oct 2018 Valencia Half Marathon Valencia

 

 

 

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