Trevor Noah’s message to those who claim Kipchoge won because of ‘magic’ shoes

By Vincent Kejitan | Saturday, Oct 19th 2019 at 19:52
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It is now a week since Eliud Kipchoge ran a marathon in under two hours by clocking 1hr 59mins 40secs during the INEOS Challenge in Vienna, Austria.

As expected, his performance has been heavily scrutinized and apart from the team of pacesetters, who some termed as ‘an unfair advantage’, there is now debate about his shoes!

Kipchoge used the Nike Vaporfly Next%, a special type of shoe which is said to have carbon fibre plates in the midsole.

Ryan Hall, who finished 10th in the Beijing Olympics marathon, this week cast aspersions over the feat saying the shoes might have handed Kipchoge an advantage.

"With all due respect to [Kipchoge] as he is clearly the greatest marathoner of all-time regardless of the shoe he is in [but] when a shoe company puts multiple carbon fibre plates in a shoe with a cushion between the plates, it is no longer a shoe," Hall wrote on Instagram.

"It's a spring, and a clear mechanical advantage to anyone not in those shoes.

"I'm just hoping [the International Amateur Athletic Federation, or IAAF] makes sure the upcoming Olympics and [World Marathon Majors] are fair playing fields for athletes of all brands."

He later clarified his statement, saying he was not trying to take away from Kipchoge's amazing performances.

"The only reason I posted was simply to state my opinion that shoes need to be regulated with strict rules so that it's an even playing field for elites across all brands," he said.

"I'm all about [advancements] in technology that help us run faster. But I don't think athletes should be losing races because they are in a shoe that doesn't have a spring-like mechanism in them.

"This isn't about unreleased prototypes not being available, it's about mechanical advantage. Other sports have limits they place on the gear — cycling, triathlon, golf. So needs track and field."

South African comedian Trevor Noah, known for creating humour out of trending topics, jumped to the defense of Kipchoge saying those saying he won because of his shoes should try to wear them and attempt to complete a marathon in under two hours.

“Why don't you go get those shoes and you tell me how fast your times is. You can't give the shoes the credit, if anything, him being Kenyan is the cheating part.

“He wasn't like, "Oh my god I'm wearing these Nikes." It's more like the Nikes were (saying,), "Oh my God, we're wearing a Kenyan. We're going to win. We're gonna win,” said Noah.

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