Eliud Kipchoge has likened his upcoming attempt to break the two-hour marathon barrier to Neil Armstrong’s historic moon landing in 1969, but one leading sports scientist says the conditions are “contrived” and likens it more to breaking the high jump record on Mars.
The 34-year-old Kipchoge, who ran the fastest ever official marathon last year in Berlin in a time of 2:01:39, will try to dip under two hours in Vienna in October, aided by a group of pacesetters and running behind a lead car that will serve as a wind resistor.
However, Professor Ross Tucker, the respected South African who served as an expert witness in Caster Semenya’s hearing at the Court of Arbitration of Sports (CAS) earlier this year, is sceptical about the variables involved in the venture, dubbed the INEOS 1:59 Challenge.
“Getting man to the moon involved overcoming gravity. What Kipchoge is doing is taking gravity out of the equation,” Tucker told CNN Sport. “It would be the same as breaking the high jump record [set in 1993 by Cuba’s Javier Sotomayor at a height of 2.45m] on Mars where there is less gravity.”