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Kipchoge finishes 42.2km marathon in recording breaking one hour, 59 minutes and 40 seconds

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Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge has become the first runner to finish a 42.2km marathon in under two hours and described the record-shattering the best moment of his life.

The 34-year-old Olympic champion completed the course in the Prater Park, Vienna, in an incredible one hour, 59 minutes and 40 seconds.

He celebrated with his arms outstretched and waved to the crowds as he sprinted over the line before he was greeted by a loving embrace from his wife Grace.

“I’m the happiest man today. The message that no human is limited is now in everybody’s mind,” an elated Kipchoge told reporters after the run, adding he expected more athletes to reach his feat in the future.

“From the first kilometres, I was really comfortable. I have been training for it for the last four and a half months, and above all I have been putting in my heart and in my mind that I’ll run an under a two-hour marathon.”

The 34-year-old already holds the men’s world record for the distance with a time of 2hr 01min 39sec, which he set in the flat Berlin marathon on September 16, 2018.

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But accompanied by a posse of 41 pacemakers, who took turns to support him, and a car in front of them setting the pace, Kipchoge bested his mark, making good on a failed attempt two years ago in Monza, Italy.

Maintaining a very regular pace at around 2:50 minutes per kilometre, he passed the finish line gesturing and smiling, describing his approach to the finish as “the best moment of my life”.

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The founder of the main sponsors, Ineos, British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, took a personal interest in the challenge and himself competes in Ironman triathlons.

“That last kilometre where he actually accelerated was super human,” Ratcliffe said.

Kipchoge had been 11 seconds in advance at mid-race as fans lining the course, many waving Kenyan flags, loudly cheered him on.

Kipchoge’s coach, Patrick Sang, said the Kenyan had “inspired all of us that we can stretch our limits in our lives”.

“Records are meant to be broken, so down the line someone will try again, but history has been made. It’s unbelievable,” Sang added.

Kipchoge told reporters earlier this week that his attempt in the Austrian capital was about “making history in this world, like the first man to go to the moon.”

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Pacemakers took turns to support him throughout the 42.195-kilometre (26.219-miles) race. They included 1,500-metre Olympic champion Matthew Centrowitz and former world champion Bernard Lagat.

The course included a 4.3 kilometre-long straight alley, which the Kenyan ran up and down several times amid dry but foggy weather.

Throngs of fans cheered on Kipchoge whenever he passed by.

William Magachi, 33, from Nairobi, was one of many Kenyans watching.

“It’s amazing. He is a super human being, the positivity, what he has been able to achieve.

“It’s a record breaking moment. It never happened and may never happen again in my lifetime… I’m a lucky man.”

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PSG sign striker Icardi on permanent deal

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Mauro Icardi

French champions Paris St Germain have signed striker Mauro Icardi on a permanent deal from Inter Milan, the Serie A club said on Sunday.

Argentine Icardi, 27, joined PSG in September on a season-long loan with a buy-out option.

“FC Internazionale Milano announces the transfer of Mauro Icardi to Paris Saint-Germain FC; the striker, born in 1993, has permanently moved to the French club.

“The club thanks the player for the six seasons he spent with us and wishes him the best for his future professional career,” Inter said in a statement.

Icardi scored 20 goals in 31 matches in all competitions before the season was officially concluded on April 30, with 10 games remaining due to the COVID-19 crisis.

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He has been competing for a place in the side with Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani, PSG’s all-time top scorer, whose contract expired on June 30.

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Ukrainian match postponed after footballers test positive for coronavirus

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Ukraine’s top professional soccer league said on Saturday it had canceled one of its first post-lockdown matches after several players and staff at Karpaty in the western city of Lviv tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The match between Karpaty and Mariupol from the Azov Sea port of Mariupol was supposed to be played on Sunday behind closed doors.

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The football authorities did not specify how many players had been affected by the virus and when a rescheduled match may be played.

“Those infected were immediately transferred to self-isolation. They had no symptoms,” the league said in a statement.

Ukraine’s government has started easing restrictions imposed in March to prevent the spread of the virus and allowed sports events to continue if all participants are tested and comply with other safety requirements.

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The soccer authorities decided to resume competitions in the Premier League and the Cup with no spectators. Two of Ukraine’s most famous clubs, Dynamo Kiev and Shakhtar Donetsk, are scheduled to meet on Sunday.

Ukraine has reported 23,304 cases, including 696 deaths from the coronavirus as of May 30.

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Tennis’ world number 11 undergoes surgery on both ankles

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World number 11 Fabio Fognini underwent surgery on both ankles on Saturday to cure a long-standing problem.

In a statement posted on Twitter, the 33-year-old Italian tennis player said he had hoped the two-month break due to the coronavirus pandemic would have improved his situation.

“I’ve been having a problem with my left ankle for three and a half years now and it’s an issue I’ve learned to cope with,” Fognini said. “Then my right ankle started playing up in the last two years as well.

“After a medical examination and a long discussion with my team, I decided to have arthroscopic surgery on both ankles.

“I believe it’s the right thing to do while the Tour is on an enforced break. I will have surgery today`(Saturday).”

No professional tournaments have been played since the start of March because of the pandemic, and the ATP Tour has been suspended until at least the start of August.

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