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Eliud Kipchoge sets next attempt at marathon world record

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Eliud Kipchoge tried to break two hours in his last marathon. He’ll try to lower the world record at his next one.

The Kenyan Olympic champion entered the Berlin Marathon on Sept. 24, four and a half months after running 2:00:25 at Nike’s sub-two-hour marathon event in Monza, Italy.

“I was very close to breaking the two-hour barrier in Monza,” Kipchoge said in a press release Thursday. “Now I believe the BMW Berlin Marathon is the perfect venue for attacking the official world record”

Berlin, with its pancake-flat roads, was the site of the last six times the men’s 26.2-mile world record was lowered in the last 14 years, coming down from 2:05:38 to the current mark of 2:02:57.

Kipchoge, 32, won his last Berlin start in 2015, clocking 2:04:00 with his insoles infamously slipping out the back of his shoes and flopping the last half of the race. He also finished runner-up to Wilson Kipsang in 2013.

Kipchoge is believed to be primed to break the 2:02:57 world record that countryman Dennis Kimetto ran in Berlin in 2014.

On May 6, Kipchoge ran 2:00:25 in Nike’s staged sub-two-hour marathon attempt on a Formula One race track. It was contested under special conditions that made it ineligible for record purposes with pacers entering mid-race.

Before that, Kipchoge won five straight major marathons, including the Rio Olympics in 2:08:44 in conditions not suitable for a fast time. He won the Olympic marathon by 70 seconds, the largest margin of victory since Frank Shorter won in 1972.

The other marquee fall marathon — New York City — is a more difficult course and not suited for world-record chasing.

Kipchoge withdrew from selection for Kenya’s team for the world championships in London in August.

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MORE: No. 2 women’s marathoner of all time signs up for NYC

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Esther Kim, who gave her Olympic spot to best friend, dies at 40

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Esther Kim, a U.S. taekwondo athlete who gave up her Olympic spot to her injured best friend, died on Tuesday at age 40.

Kim had lost liver and kidney function and spent recent weeks hospitalized in an intensive-care unit, said Jake Stovall, a friend, former instructor and taekwondo athlete. Stovall set up a GoFundMe page to cover funeral expenses.

In May 2000, Kim forfeited the U.S. Olympic Trials flyweight final to Kay Poe, allowing her best friend to take the lone spot available on the Olympic team.

Poe, reportedly ranked No. 1 in the world at the time, dislocated her left kneecap in the previous round. The injury would have kept her from being competitive in the final.

“I was in a very unfair situation. How can you go out there and fight someone who can’t even stand up?” Kim said in 2000. “There was only one choice to be made, and that was just to forfeit and bow out.”

Poe and Kim were training partners, both coached by Kim’s dad, and friends for the previous decade growing up in Houston.

“I felt blessed, and at the same time, I almost felt, like, guilty,” Poe said in 2000. “I couldn’t express it any other way, but it just came out with my tears.”

The story spread among national media, from The New York Times to Sports Illustrated to Oprah Winfrey.

Then-IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch arranged for Kim to travel to Sydney, where taekwondo made its Olympic debut as a medal event. Kim watched from the stands as Poe competed and was upset in her opening match.

“She was really one of a kind larger than life kind of woman,” was posted on Poe’s public Facebook page on Tuesday, along with a photo of her with Kim.

This was one of the last times I got to see her.. She was really one of a kind larger than life kind of woman. Sending all my love to her mother and family…

Posted by Kay Poe Sheffield on Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Tahiti chosen for Olympic surfing competition at 2024 Paris Games

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Paris 2024 Olympic organizers want the surfing competition to be held in Tahiti, an island in French Polynesia that is about 9,800 miles from Paris.

It would break the record for the farthest Olympic medal competition to be held outside the host. In 1956, equestrian events were moved out of Melbourne due to quarantine laws and held five months earlier in Stockholm, some 9,700 miles away.

The Paris 2024 executive board approved the site Thursday — specifically, the village of Teahupo’o — and will propose it to the IOC.

“We look forward to hearing Paris’ presentation at the IOC Executive Board in March 2020,” an IOC spokesperson said in an email when asked for comment on Paris’ choice.

Tahiti beat out other applicants Biarritz, Lacanau, Les Landes and La Torche, all part of mainland France.

“If, ever, we have two alternatives, and where one alternative gives the athletes of a particular sport more closeness to the heart of the Games and allows them to enjoy the magic and the spirit of the Games better, then in the interest of the athletes, we prefer this solution,” IOC President Thomas Bach said in June when asked about Tahiti’s interest in hosting surfing.

Surfing will debut at the 2020 Tokyo Games but is not on the permanent Olympic program. Surfing was among sports added to the Paris 2024 program in June and could be added for the 2028 Los Angeles Games.

MORE: U.S. athletes qualified for Tokyo Olympics

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