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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

Bernard Lagat commits to Olympic marathon trials, eyes age record

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Bernard Lagat, a 44-year-old, five-time Olympian, reportedly said he will race the Olympic marathon trials on Feb. 29 in a bid to break his own record as the oldest U.S. Olympic runner.

“I feel like I can still improve,” Lagat said, according to Runner’s World. “I’m going to give it my best.”

Lagat, a two-time Olympic 1500m medalist, moved to the marathon after becoming the oldest U.S. Olympic runner in history at the Rio Games, placing fifth in the 5000m.

He clocked 2:17:20 in his 26.2-mile debut at the 2018 New York City Marathon. He lowered it to 2:12:10 at the Gold Coast Marathon in Australia on July 7 but did not previously commit to entering the trials.

If Lagat finishes in the top three at the marathon trials, he is in line to become the third-oldest U.S. Olympic track and field athlete in history. The oldest are race walker John Deni (49 years old in 1952) and hammer thrower Matt McGrath (48 years old in 1924), according to the OlyMADMen.

Lagat ranks outside the top 20 among U.S. marathoners in this Olympic cycle. The fastest are Galen Rupp (2:06:07), Leonard Korir (2:07:56, from Sunday’s Amsterdam Marathon) and Scott Fauble (2:09:09).

No American has competed in six Olympics in track and field. Lagat’s first two Olympic appearances were for Kenya.

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MORE: Olympic marathon moved from Tokyo to another Olympic host city

Natalie Geisenberger, Olympic luge champion, will not race this season

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For the first time in eight years, there will be a new World Cup women’s luge champion.

Germany’s Natalie Geisenberger — the seven-time defending champion and two-time defending Olympic singles gold medalist — announced that she isn’t sliding this season because she and her husband are expecting their first child in April.

“Our happiness is on the way,” Geisenberger said on her Facebook page.

Geisenberger plans to return next season and still has hopes to compete at the 2022 Beijing Olympics, where she could match fellow German great Georg Hackl’s feat of winning three consecutive singles golds.

With Geisenberger not sliding this season, the top returning women from last year’s World Cup standings now are Julia Taubitz of Germany and Summer Britcher of the U.S. — second and third, respectively, in 2018-19.

Geisenberger has a luge record-tying four Olympic golds in all, being part of Germany’s victories in the team relays in Sochi in 2014 and Pyeongchang in 2018 as well.

Her 49 World Cup singles wins are another record, and she’s one of two sliders to win seven consecutive World Cup titles — Austria’s Markus Prock took the men’s championships each year from 1990-91 through 1996-97.

Geisenberger’s break from sliding only adds to how the World Cup standings — and the German roster — will look very different this season. Dajana Eitberger, who was fourth in last season’s World Cup standings, is also pregnant and expecting a baby in February. And Tatjana Huefner, who was sixth overall last season, has retired.

Huefner won five consecutive World Cup titles before Geisenberger took over and began her seven-year streak of championships. Geisenberger earned medals 11 times in 12 singles races last year — six golds, four silvers and one bronze.

“We are so happy for you even though we will miss you this season!” two-time Olympic singles gold medalist Felix Loch of Germany wrote in a message to Geisenberger on Instagram.

Geisenberger has been in the top three of the World Cup standings in 12 consecutive seasons. She was third in 2007-08, finished second in each of the next four seasons, and then began her title streak in 2012-13.

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