Kipchoge lacks ‘words to describe’ record-breaking run

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Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge smashed the marathon world record, winning the Berlin race in 2 hours, 1 minute, 39 seconds on Sunday.

His feat came as Kevin Mayer set a decathlon world record with a total of 9,126 points in his native France on Sunday, topping a previous best of 9,045 points set by American Ashton Eaton three years ago.

Organizers of the Berlin marathon initially put Kipchoge’s time at 2 hours, 1 minute, 40 seconds, but later reduced it by one second.

The 33-year-old broke the previous world record set in Berlin by fellow Kenyan Dennis Kimetto in 2014 by 1 minute and 18 seconds.

“I lack words to describe this day,” Kipchoge said after becoming the first person to finish a marathon in less than 2 hours and 2 minutes.

“They say you miss two times but you can’t miss the third time,” he said in reference to his two previous failed attempts to break the world record in Berlin.

The Kenyan defended his 2017 title in the German capital, pulling ahead of other runners early on amid perfect conditions. Mild temperatures and little to no wind gave the runners of the 45th Berlin marathon an advantage over last year, when rain slowed the race.

Berlin debutant Amos Kipruto came second in 2 hours, 6 minutes, 23 seconds, followed by a third Kenyan, former world-record holder Wilson Kipsang, with 2 hours, 6 minutes, 48 seconds.

Shogo Nakamura of Japan narrowly missed setting a new national record with a time of 2 hours, 8 minutes, 16 seconds.
Gladys Cherono won the women’s race in 2 hours, 18 minutes, 11 seconds, a women’s record for the Berlin marathon. The previous track record was set by Mizuki Noguchi of Japan 13 years ago.

The 35-year-old Kenyan, who has won twice before in Berlin, said she felt confident going into the race but wasn’t sure she would beat favorite Tirunesh Dibaba.
Dibaba came third behind fellow Ethiopian Rutia Aga.

A total of 44,389 runners from 133 countries took part in the race, organizers said.

IOC group proposes Olympic ‘host’ can be multiple countries

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International Olympic Committee members will decide next month whether to tweak the definition of an Olympic host to make it clear that it does not necessarily refer to a single city but can also mean multiple cities, regions and even countries, IOC President Thomas Bach said Wednesday.

“It’s not an encouragement to spread the Games out as much as possible,” Bach said in announcing the IOC’s executive board approved the measure. “It may be preferable to have a region as a signatory or an additional signatory of the host city contract rather than just a city, and therefore, we wanted to enjoy this flexibility. This, on the other hand, does not change our vision, our request and our focus on having not only an Olympic Village, but to have an Olympic center.”

It’s one of six proposed changes by a working group chaired by Australian IOC member John Coates to examine the bid process. Another is to make the timing of Olympic host city elections more flexible. Typically, hosts are elected seven years before the Games, though two years ago an exception was made in the double awarding of the 2024 and 2028 Games to Paris and Los Angeles.

Bach repeated that the proposals are “to avoid producing too many losers as we had it in the past candidature procedures.”

The IOC previously said in 2014, in announcing Agenda 2020, that it “will allow events held outside the host city or, in exceptional cases, outside the host country, notably for reasons of geography and sustainability.”

This shift manifests in Stockholm’s 2026 Winter Olympic bid plan to have sliding sports in Sigulda, Latvia, home of the nearest existing track for bobsled, luge and skeleton, rather than building a costly new track in Sweden.

IOC members will vote to choose the 2026 Winter Games host next month. The finalists are Stockholm and a joint Italian bid of Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo, after five other potential candidates were dropped for various reasons.

There is precedent for events held far from the Olympic host city. In 1956, Melbourne held the Summer Games and had equestrian events in Stockholm due to quarantine laws in Australia. Similarly, equestrian at the 2008 Beijing Games was held in Hong Kong.

Soccer matches are often held in cities across the host country. Recent Winter Olympics have had mountain events in a different city or area than arena events.

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IOC board recommends AIBA suspension, boxing stays in Olympics

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The International Olympic Committee executive board recommended that AIBA has its recognition as boxing’s international federation suspended but that the sport remains on the Olympic program at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

An IOC decision on the recommendation will be made next month. The IOC created a group to organize 2020 Olympic boxing qualifying and competition if AIBA will not be allowed to run it.

“We want to ensure that the athletes can live their dream and participate in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 while drawing the necessary consequences for AIBA,” IOC president Thomas Bach said in a press release. “At the same time, we offer a pathway back to lifting the suspension, but there needs to be further fundamental change.”

The IOC said in October that boxing’s place in the Olympics was “under threat” after being introduced at the 1904 St. Louis Games and held at every Games since except Stockholm 1912.

In November, the IOC ordered an inquiry into AIBA, which has been in financial turmoil, faced claims of fixed bouts at the Rio Games and elected a president linked to organized crime.

That president, Uzbek Gafur Rakhimov, stepped aside in March to let an interim leader take charge but said he was not resigning. Rakhimov is on a U.S. Treasury Department sanctions list for suspected links to an organized crime group in former Soviet Union republics involved in heroin trafficking. He denies any wrongdoing.

“Serious governance issues remain, including breaches of the Olympic Charter and the IOC Code of Ethics regarding good governance and ethics, leading to serious reputational, legal and financial risks for the IOC, the Olympic Movement and its stakeholders,” the inquiry committee concluded. “AIBA has been unable to demonstrate a sustainable and fair management of refereeing and judging processes and decisions, increasing the lack of confidence that athletes can have in fair competitions.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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