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Eliud Kipchoge confident he will break 2-hour marathon; Ineos 1:59 TV, live stream info

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Eliud Kipchoge said he is more prepared for his second attempt and ready to become the first person to break two hours in a marathon in Vienna on Saturday.

Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA will air Kipchoge’s sub-two attempt, called the Ineos 1:59 Challenge, live on Saturday morning. The start time is 2:15 a.m. ET. The live stream for Olympic Channel subscribers is here.

“I am confident that I have been in that speed in the last two years,” Kipchoge, the Olympic marathon champion and world-record holder from Kenya, said Thursday. “So it’s not something that we’re thinking, oh, are we going to do it? I’ve been doing it for the first time, and the second time, I will get it.”

Kipchoge came close the first time, running 2:00:25 on a Formula One course in Monza, Italy, on May 6, 2017. Kipchoge’s world record is 2:01:39 from the 2018 Berlin Marathon.

Like Monza, the Vienna attempt will not be under record-eligible conditions. For instance, Kipchoge’s 41 pacers, including U.S. Olympic 1500m champion Matthew Centrowitz, are expected to shuffle in and out of the race.

He arrived in Vienna on Tuesday to get his first look at the course — a six-mile circuit of a stretch of flat road at The Prater, a historic park in central Vienna.

“To run in Berlin and to run in Vienna are two different things,” said Kipchoge, the youngest of four siblings raised by his mom, a kindergarten teacher, after the death of his father. “Berlin is running and breaking a world record. Vienna is running and making history in this world, like the first man to go the moon.”

Kipchoge, whose 10-marathon, five-year win streak is a modern-era elite record, gained confidence watching Ethiopian legend Kenenisa Bekele clock 2:01:41 in Berlin on Sept. 29, missing the world record by two seconds.

“Most people were saying no other human being can come close to [2:01:39],” said Kipchoge, who took 78 seconds off the previous world record in Berlin last year. “[Bekele’s run] is a good illustration that no human is limited.”

Kipchoge said he has been thinking about a sub-two-hour marathon since the Rio Olympics. After his Monza attempt, the man of metaphors said, “We are going up the tree … I have lifted a branch and I am going onto the next one. This is not the end of the attempt of runners on two hours.”

Kipchoge, who at 34 is three years younger than Bekele, would not commit to a third attempt if this one fails. He says to wait and see what happens on Saturday.

What’s clear is that Kipchoge sees this race as a positive for the sport.

“In a garden there is flowers and there are weeds,” he said when asked about track and field’s issues, from doping to small crowds at the recent world championships in Doha. “Vienna, we are talking about the flowers. Let us concentrate on the flowers.”

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MORE: 2019 Berlin Marathon results

Tommy Ford ends U.S. men’s World Cup drought at Beaver Creek

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Tommy Ford earned his first World Cup win at age 30 and ended the U.S. men’s longest victory and podium droughts in two decades.

Ford won the giant slalom in Beaver Creek, Colo., on Sunday, the last North American race on tour this season. He prevailed by eight tenths of a second combining times over two runs.

“It doesn’t beat doing it here. I’ve been working hard,” Ford said on Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA. “No secret, just kept it simple and really trusted what I was doing.”

Norwegians Henrik Kristoffersen and Leif Kristian Nestvold-Haugen were second and third. American Ted Ligety, fourth after the opening run, finished 11th.

Full results are here.

Ford became the first U.S. man to win a World Cup since Travis Ganong took a downhill on Jan. 27, 2017. He also became the first U.S. male podium finisher since Ligety in January 2018. Both were the longest droughts for the program since the late 1990s.

Ford, a 2010 and 2018 Olympian who missed the 2014 Olympics due to a broken femur, had been working toward this moment.

He finished a World Cup career-high fourth at the season-opening giant slalom in Soelden, Austria, on Oct. 27. Last season, the Oregon native and former Dartmouth student had a pair of fifths.

The men’s World Cup moves to Val d’Isere, France, next weekend for a giant slalom and slalom.

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Katie Ledecky wins race by 30 seconds, takes back No. 1 ranking

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In her last race of the year, Katie Ledecky ensured she would finish 2019 as the world’s fastest 1500m freestyler.

Ledecky clocked 15:35.98 at the U.S. Open in Atlanta, winning the longest event on the Olympic pool program by 29.97 seconds. Typical for Ledecky, who owns the nine fastest times in history. This one came in at No. 8. Full meet results are here.

Ledecky scratched the 1500m free final at the summer world championships due to illness. Italian Simona Quadarella went on to win that title in 15:40.89, which was the world’s fastest time this year until Saturday night.

“I didn’t have time on my mind at all today. I just wanted to have a consistent swim,” Ledecky, undefeated in 1500m free finals for nine years, said on NBCSN. “That’s probably the best mile that I’ve had in a while.”

The women’s 1500m freestyle debuts at the Olympics in Tokyo. Ledecky is expected to add that to her Rio Olympic individual lineup of 200m, 400m and 800m frees, assuming she is top two in each event at the June Olympic trials.

In other events Saturday, Erika Brown handed Simone Manuel a rare defeat in the 100m freestyle. Brown, a University of Tennessee senior, clocked 53.42 and lowered her personal best by .71 between prelims and the final. Brown moved from sixth to fourth in the U.S. rankings this year, upping her stock as a contender to make the Olympic 4x100m free relay pool via a top-six finish at trials.

Brown previously lowered her personal best in the 50m free on Thursday. She ranks third in the U.S. this year in that event.

Emily Escobedo dealt Lilly King a rare domestic defeat in the 200m breaststroke. Escobedo lowered her personal best by .87 and clocked 2:22.00, moving to seventh fastest in the world this year and remaining fourth among Americans.

In the men’s 200m breast, Olympic champion Dmitriy Balandin of Kazakhstan was beaten by Cody Miller, the Olympic 100m breast silver medalist. Both were slower than their best times this year.

The next significant swim meet is a Tyr Pro Series stop in Knoxville, Tenn., from Jan. 16-19.

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