上海十一选五:Clock ticking on marathon mark
山东十一选五 www.rtbce.com Kenyan champ says two-hour barrier definitely within reach
The world's fastest long-distance runner believes it's only a matter of time before an athlete cracks the two-hour barrier in a marathon race.
Ever since Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge smashed the record by more than a minute, finishing in an astonishing 2:01:39 in Berlin on Sept 16, the athletics world has been wondering how much faster a human can run the 42-kilometer course.
Kipchoge believes the much-hyped two-hour mark is just a threshold.
"All I can say is humans have no limits ... we expect soon to see somebody run under two hours", he told China Daily at the Chinese national team's training base in Beijing on Thursday.
Kipchoge's visit to the camp was part of a China tour organized by sponsor Nike that also included a campus promotion at Beijing's Zhongguancun No 3 Elementary School on Wednesday and wraps up with an appearance at the Shanghai Marathon on Sunday.
Already an Olympic champion (Rio 2016) and winner of multiple major marathons, Kipchoge cemented his status two months ago by slicing 78 seconds off the previous record set by compatriot Dennis Kimetto in the same German race in 2014.
It marked the largest improvement in the marathon record since 1967.
The challenge of eclipsing two hours was underlined by Kipchoge's own failed attempt in nearly perfect conditions in May 2017. He clocked 2:00:25 in the Breaking2 event in Monza, Italy, where he ran on the flat Formula One track, led by pacers. The result wasn't counted as a world record because the International Association of Athletics Federations doesn't allow pacer alternation in an official race.
Although physiologists afterwards predicted a sub-two - hour time wouldn't happen anytime soon, Kipchoge thinks the quality of his training and audacious mentality will help him crack the barrier.
"You have to convince yourself that you can do it. If you don't change your mentality then you can't do it," said Kipchoge, who just turned 34.
"A good training plan and proper running can transcend age."
After winning the 5,000m at the 2003 worlds and a silver at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where he was beaten by world-record holder Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia, Kipchoge switched to road running in 2012 and has won 10 of the 11 official marathons he's entered.
Under a rigorous training regime overseen by coach Patrick Sang, he runs an average 30 kilometers every day to maintain his endurance.
Sang, silver medalist in the 3,000m steeplechase at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, attributes Kipchoge's success to his genuine love of running and the competitive training system in Kenya.
"The important thing is to have plans to work toward on a gradual basis, not do too much too soon, and to train with the best," he said.
The appearance of Kipchoge and Sang at the camp on Thursday triggered a rousing reaction from Chinese runners who participated in an hour-long training session followed by discussions with the Kenyan duo.
Tobgye, China's 2018 Asian Games medalist from Tibet, said to run with his idol Kipchoge in a training session was a dream come true.
"I feel like he is one of us today, not a superhero who is high up there," said the 24-year-old, who clocked 2:18:48 to win bronze at the Jakarta Asiad in August.
"His sharing of the training arrangement and the workload that he does every day in Kenya really gives us a reference for improving ourselves."
African expertise is trickling through China's national training program as elite runners such as Tobgye and National Games winner Dong Jianguo have traveled to Kenya and Ethiopia for long-term altitude training with local runners.
"It helps a lot to blend in to the elite group of African runners and observe their daily routines up close," said Dong, who's 29th-place finish (2:15:32) at Rio was the best among China's marathoners.
The record run for a male Chinese marathoner is 2:08:15, by Ren Longyun of Qinghai province at the 2007 Beijing Marathon.
With an increasing number of marathons (1,102 in 2017) in China, Kipchoge believes a Chinese runner will soon set a new national record - but it will require mental commitment.
"Here in China you already lose if you think you will be beaten by the Africans. But if you change that mentality, you can do better," he said.
"The key is to have a plan that is not too big to make them rush their training. Trust in what you are doing and remember to finish the distance, no matter what."
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