Claudia Ekai, KweséESPN 109d

Kipchoge plots to break marathon world record in Berlin

Eliud Kipchoge is a man who has proven that human limits can be redefined when it comes to athletics, after his oh-so-close attempt to run sub two hours in Nike's 'Breaking 2' in Monza, Italy, back in May.

Kipchoge missed the two-hour mark by just 25 seconds, smashing the marathon world record of 2:02:57 [Dennis Kimetto], but it was not recognised as a valid time by the IAAF. As such, he's set his sights on the Berlin Marathon on 24 September.

The 2016 Olympic marathon gold medalist, and multiple major marathon champion, exuded confidence ahead his world record-breaking quest in Germany.

"I wanted to go beyond the two hours because when you go and read internet and books, some people were saying the first person to run under it will be in 2075 and the first person to run just two hours will be in 2055," he told KweséESPN.

"So I wanted to demonstrate that sitting in front of the computer is not training and I wanted to prove and go beyond that barrier which people are saying is impossible and unthinkable. But I'm happy I came near it and proud that I know the world is just 25 seconds away."

Back in 2013, he set foot on the streets of Berlin for his first marathon appearance in the German capital, where he finished in 2:04.05 in only his second ever marathon.

He finished behind Wilson Kipsang, who won in a then-world record time of 2:03.23, and in 2015 Kipchoge bettered his own time by five seconds and won.

Now, four years later, he comes back as one of the favourite to become the fifth Kenyan after Paul Tergat, Patrick Makau, Wilson Kipsang, and Dennis Kimetto to have a chance at inking his name in the record books.

He added: "I think this is a really important year. The first time I went to Berlin I was learning the ropes on how to handle marathon, the second one was normal and I had no unique target, but this one I have a goal of a world record. It's a special year and special race for me and my fans and the sport."

As for a reunion with his media-nemesis Kenenisa Bekele for the third time, after 2014 Chicago and 2016 London marathons, he remained diplomatic.

"I think to be sportsman is not to see why you should avoid or get out of the race because Bekele or someone else is there. For the betterment of sportsmanship, it's good for me or Bekele to compete," he said.

His thoughts on the high quality line up in Berlin was based on Buddha, he explained: "Buddha recognizes death as change, that's in their belief, and in athletics we must accept defeat, we must accept stiff competition in order to enjoy the sport.

"I'm grateful for anybody who will be there and I will run my own race and I will treat myself as the best one.

"There is alot that goes on in the mind with such a huge task, especially too much tension when you are the favourite person. Everybody, from organizers to fans, expect you to actually win the race, expecting you to run fast times and at times it gives an athlete a hard moment.

"I need to stay calm, focused and concentrate on just completing the 42km with good performance and everything.

"I think I need to get an official world record in marathon, already I have a two hour for the fastest time in the whole world, I need to get an official world record to actually hang on my neck."

Will he be content if he shaves off one second of the current barrier that is 2:02.57? He pauses, smiles and then claims: "Provided it's a called world record, I will be satisfied."

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