• Remember Obama is the first black President of United States and number one believer of ‘No Human is Limited’ phrase which I am driving on and telling people to remove limitations in their mind.”
• First to congratulate Kipchoge was Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed and Principle Secretary Kirimi Kaberia who were here in Monaco.
Two-time World Athlete of the Year Eliud Kipchoge wants to meet his idol, former United States’ Barrack Obama, in person.
Speaking on Skype after being declared the 2019 World Athlete of the Year alongside United States of America’s Dalilah Muhammad, Kipchoge described Obama as the number one believer of ‘No Human is Limited’.
“I am happy to be the first person to run under two hours. I hope I was able to inspire the next generation. It was about human family and I hope that from now onwards, everyone will be positive in life,” he said amid cheers from the packed Girmaidi Forum hall here in Monaco.
“Remember Obama is the first black President of the United States and number one believer of ‘No Human is Limited’ phrase which I am driving on and telling people to remove limitations in their mind.”
The world marathon record holder said running under two hours in a normal 42km setting is also possible and predicted the record to fall in the near future.
First to congratulate Kipchoge was Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed and Principle Secretary Kirimi Kaberia who were here in Monaco. Earlier, Kenyans had dominated World Athletics President’s Sebastian Coe speech, leaving no doubt about what awaited them for the night.
He said marathoners Kipchoge and Brigid Kosgei (world marathon record holder) had strong season but an extraordinary weekend last month that left the whole world talking and the whole of Kenya dancing.
“Our marathoners had a strong season but one extra-ordinary weekend last month with two new records set by Kosgei in Chicago and of course Kipchoge’s sub-two in Vienna, which quite literally had the world talking and the whole of Kenya dancing in the streets,” said Coe.
“It was actually compelling television and connected the world to our sport in an extraordinary way. Now that this physiological barrier has been broken, let us see how long before the record fall in a competitive marathon.”
“It took just two months for Sir Roger Bannister and Sir John Landy to run the mile in under four minutes. Rodger and his legendary pacemakers Chris Chataway and Brasher broke it 65 years ago. It may take slightly longer than two months before a sub-two is seen in a competitive marathon, but the barrier has been lifted and I predict, it won’t be too long.”
“I probably cannot say better than the former US President Barrack Obama who tweeted ‘Yesterday, marathoner Eliud Kipchoge became the first ever to break two hours. Today, in Chicago, Brigid Kosgei set a new women’s world record. Staggering achievements on their own, they’re also remarkable examples of humanity’s ability to endure—and keep raising the bar.”
Kipchoge won the award for the second year running. In April he captured his fourth victory at the London Marathon with a 2:02:37 course record, the third-fastest performance of all time. The 35-year-old Kenyan followed up in October by blasting through the distance’s two-hour barrier with a 1:59:40.2 performance at the Ineos159 Challenge in Vienna.
Muhammad, 29, broke the world record in the 400m hurdles twice this year, first with a 52.20 performance at the US Championships in July to eclipse a mark which had stood since 2003. Muhammad broke it again the World Athletics Championships Doha 2019, clocking 52.16 in one of the championships’ most eagerly-awaited finals to claim the world title for the first time. Muhammad also won world gold in the 4x400m relay.
Irish coach who resides in Iten received the Coaching Achievement Award from his former protege Wilson Kipketer, a Kenyan turned Dane.
Brother Colm O’Connell, who has trained Kenya’s top champions for over four decades including David Rudisha said: “I never intended on having a career in coaching when I landed in the Rift Valley 43 years ago.”
He said his motivation has always been the emergence of new talent. “Any time I see new talent, that becomes my challenge and inspiration. Young talent makes me motivated and I always strive not only to turn them into great athletes but also great people,” he said.
The Irish missionary has coached 25 world champions and four Olympic gold medallists, including Kipketer and Rudisha, the World Athletes of the Year in 1997 and 2010, respectively.
Hellen Obiri, who was also present had a share of his praise from IAAF following her feat at the world cross country championships.