Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge made history after he became the first man to finish a marathon within two hours.
“I am the first man – I want to inspire many people, that no human is limited,” said the history-making Kipchoge.
“We can make this world a beautiful world and a peaceful world. My wife and three children, I am happy for them to come and witness history.”
Maintaining a very regular pace at around 2:50 minutes per kilometre, he passed the finish line gesturing and smiling.
Many fans lined up around the finish line eager to see if the 34-year-old can cross it at 1hr 59min, for a historical first.
“We want to see if he will make it. I would say it is totally crazy, terrific if he can make it,” said Nicole Pahl as per PTI, who herself runs marathons at the age of 48, and has travelled to Austria from neighbouring Germany to see the Kenyan’s attempt.
Kipchoge holds the men’s world record for the distance with a time of 2hr 01min 39sec, which he set in the flat Berlin marathon on September 16, 2018.
He tried in May 2017 to break the two-hour barrier, running on the Monza National Autodrome racing circuit in Italy, failing narrowly in 2hr 00min 25sec.
But this time he says he is mentally stronger and more confident.
“I just have to make that click in people’s minds that no human is limited,” he told a press conference this week.
He said his attempt in the Austrian capital is about “making history in this world, like the first man to go to the moon”.
The world marathon record has, for the past 16 years, been contested uniquely between athletes from Kenya and Ethiopia. The two nations are also fierce rivals for distance medals on the track.
Kipchoge’s record was almost beaten last month in the Berlin marathon by Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele, who ran 2:01.41, just two seconds short of the official world mark.