Eliud Kipchoge can still break world marathon record, says Patrick Sang

By IAAF: Thursday, May 2nd 2019 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Athletics
Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge celebrates winning the 2019 London Marathon men's elite race and setting a new course record [Reuters]

Eliud Kipchoge can break his own world record again after producing “one of his best ever performances” at the London Marathon, his coach, Patrick Sang, has predicted.

“I talked to people before the race and some were asking what Eliud still had,” Sang told the Guardian. “I told them he still had a lot of potentials to run even faster.

“Given the wind wasn’t great, and all the circumstances around the race, the guy showed us he was able to control and deliver. I think he can break the world record again.”

Sang admitted that Nike’s controversial new next shoes, which are said to improve running economy by 5% over standard running trainers, had also given Kipchoge a “psychological boost”. However, he insisted it was the 34-year-old Kenyan’s ability and mental strength that provided his biggest advantage – and enabled him to run a world record 2hr 01min 39sec last September. “We can never understand the capacity of what a human mind can do,” he added. Kipchoge’s winning time was 2:02.37 on Sunday.

Mo Farah, meanwhile, has refused to rule out a return to the track for the first time in two years at the Anniversary Games in July. Farah was non-committal when asked about rumours swirling around the London Marathon, saying, “Maybe – I don’t know”, while his coach, Gary Lough, stressed that no decision had been made. “There are lots of moving parts,” he added.

The 36-year-old Farah is yet to decide whether to run the 10,000m or marathon at the world championships in Doha, although he would want at least one track race as preparation if he picks the shorter option, making the Anniversary Games a logical target.

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Tackling the 10,000m in Doha would give him the added advantage of fitting in a lucrative big-city autumn marathon, too. And while New York in November has long been mooted as the most likely option, an audacious October double of running the 10,000m in Doha on 6 October before defending his Chicago Marathon title a week later is not out of the question. Another option would be to miss the world championships completely and run the Berlin Marathon in September instead.

Berlin has the advantage of being a lightning quick course, although Lough believes Farah was capable of running high 2:03s on Sunday – rather than the 2:05.39 he finished on – and insists that the marathon at next year’s Tokyo Olympics is very much the plan.

“I think in this type of race, Kipchoge is head and shoulders above,” Lough added.

“But a championship race is totally different. There are no pacemakers, there’s the championship pressure, the conditions out in Tokyo for the Olympics. The marathon there is still very much the goal.”

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