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CAF Confederation Cup: Bolton City overcomes Jwaneng Galaxy of Botswana1 min read

The team from the Indian Ocean island emulated Vacoas and Port Louis by winning the preliminary tie 3-2 on aggregate

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CAF Confederation Cup: Bolton City overcomes Jwaneng galaxy

Bolton City became only the third Mauritius club to win a CAF Confederation Cup tie in 12 attempts despite losing 1-0 at Jwaneng Galaxy of Botswana on Sunday. The team from the Indian Ocean island emulated Vacoas and Port Louis by winning the preliminary tie 3-2 on aggregate after building a 3-1 first-leg advantage two weeks ago.

Launched in 2004, the Confederation Cup is the second-tier African club competition, and it replaced the African Cup Winners Cup and CAF Cup. Gift Moyo scored for Jwaneng after 65 minutes of the return match to set up a tense finish as a second unanswered goal for the hosts would have squeezed them through on away goals.

Instead, Bolton will face Zanaco of Zambia in the round of 32 during September with the overall winners advancing to a play-off against a CAF Champions League last-32 loser. Another Galaxy, TS Galaxy of South Africa, were more successful than their Botswana namesakes, winning 1-0 against Saint Louis Suns United in Seychelles to complete a 2-0 overall success.

Pay Attention: CAF Champions League: Enyimba progresses while Kano Pillars is eliminated

Thero Setsile scored on 53 minutes for Galaxy, a second division outfit who qualified for Africa after stunning Kaizer Chiefs in the Nedbank (FA) Cup final. AS Pelican of Gabon sprang a surprise by holding Maniema Union of the Democratic Republic of Congo 1-1 in Kinshasa and winning 4-2 on penalties.

Expensively assembled Pyramids of Egypt completed a double over Etoile of Congo by following up a three-goal home victory with a 1-0 win in Brazzaville courtesy of an Islam Attia goal. 

Other clubs who advanced Sunday to the round of 32 included Al Ittihad of Libya, Maranatha of Togo, Daring Club Motema Pembe of DR Congo and US Ben Guerdane of Tunisia.

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Kenya celebrates as Kipchoge makes them proud

Eliud Kipchoge’s historic marathon time on Saturday was greeted with joy and pride in his native Kenya.

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Eliud Kipchoge’s historic marathon time on Saturday was greeted with joy and pride in his native Kenya.

“I am happy today because he has won in Kenya and in the world. I thank him so much for this, for me, for Kenya and the world,” said Kipchoge’s mother Janet Rotich who watched in her home village Kapsisiywa as her son became the first man to run the marathon distance in less than two hours.

Kipchoge’s run in Vienna was broadcast live on all Kenya’s television stations. 

Even so, in Eldoret, the city 40 kilometres from Kapsisiywa where the 34-year-old runner, his wife and three children live, and in Nairobi, crowds gathered in the early morning to watch the run on giant screens.

Read Also: Ineos 1:59 Challenge: Kenya’s Kipchoge says ready to “break the two-hour barrier

In Eldoret, the fans watched in feverish excitement as their champion ticked off the kilometres and exalted when Kipchoge crossed the finish line with a clock displaying 1hr 59 min 40 sec, throwing hats and water bottles into the air.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta quickly issued his “hearty congratulations”. 

“You’ve done it, you’ve made history and made Kenya proud while at it. Your win today, will inspire tens of future generations to dream big and to aspire for greatness. We celebrate you and wish you God’s blessings,”  President Kenyatta continued. 

Kenya’s vice-president William Ruto, who had made the trip to Vienna, sent out a series of tweets.

“A blistering 1.59.40! Congratulations @EliudKipchoge for the historic achievement in shattering the sub-two-hour barrier for the marathon; you are arguably the greatest runner of all time.”

Athletics, along with sevens rugby, is the most successful sport in bringing Kenyans together, regardless of their social or ethnic background. 

In Kapsisiywa, Eliud’s older brother, Wilson Sugut, said the run showed what individuals could achieve.

“He told the world that no human being is limited and that he will overcome this two-hour barrier,” he recalled. “People couldn’t believe it, but now we can believe it.” 

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Ineos 1:59 Challenge: Kenya’s Kipchoge says ready to “break the two-hour barrier”

Kipchoge, 34, went close to breaking the two-hour barrier when he was 25 seconds too slow in another staged run

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Ineos 1:59 Challenge: Kenya's Kipchoge says ready to "break the two-hour barrier"
Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge poses for photographers prior to his press conference in Vienna on October 10, 2019, prior to his attempt to break the two-hour barrier on the October 12, 2019 marathon in Vienna. (AFP)

As he prepares for more assaults on the peaks of marathon running, Eliud Kipchoge stays true to an austere lifestyle despite his fame and fortune.

The Kenyan superstar, who holds the marathon world record and is reigning Olympic champion, hopes to become the first man to run the 42.195 kilometres in under two hours on Saturday in Vienna.

Despite his status and wealth, the 2018 world athlete of the year leads a monastic existence at a spartan running camp in Kenya’s Rift Valley.

With the 30 or so runners living at the camp, Kipchoge sets off at dawn for the first of two daily training sessions. 

The rest of his time is spent resting, reading and eating, with a focus on simple Kenyan food staples. 

“I don’t think I am different. I am trying my best to live a modest life,” he said.

“I am a simple person, I try to stay calm and focus on what I do. There are no distractions.”

The special event in Vienna, sponsored by British conglomerate Ineos, has been given a catchy marketing title: the “1:h59 Challenge”.

Kipchoge, 34, went close to breaking the two-hour barrier when he was 25 seconds too slow in another staged run, at Italy’s Monza race circuit in 2017. 

That time was not sanctioned by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) because a vehicle and a squad of pacemakers aided Kipchoge in controlling his speed.

The same conditions will prevail for the Vienna attempt, preventing any potential world record from being validated.

‘Landing on the moon’ –

“This is about history,” he said. “It’s about leaving a legacy. It’s about inspiring people,” he said of the Vienna event.

“My main message to the 7.5 billion people in the world is that no human is limited.”

“Breaking the two-hour marathon barrier would be like man landing on the moon,” he said.

He added that it would “show to the world that when you focus on your goal, when you work hard and when you believe in yourself, anything is possible.”

Kipchoge was born in Kapsisiywa, Nandi County in western Kenya. 

At 18, he beat two legendary runners, the Moroccan Hicham El Guerrouj and Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele, to became 5,000-metre world champion in Paris in 2003.

In 2012, after failing to qualify for the London Olympics, Kipchoge switched to marathon running.

With his compact silhouette and unwavering stride as the miles tick by, Kipchoge is perfectly suited to the longer distance. 

Out of 12 marathons, he has lost just once: in his 2013 debut in Berlin, against compatriot Wilson Kipsang, who broke the world record that day. 

Kipchoge set his world record, 2hr 1min 39sec, in the Berlin race in 2018.

He had met coach Patrick Sang in 2001 and joined the fabled running stable in the foothills of the Rift Valley a year later.

‘Sense of sacrifice’ –

Kipchoge enjoys no privileges at the Kaptagat camp where he is nicknamed the “philosopher” for his love of reading. The camp is a few hours’ walk from his home village, Eldoret. On weekends, he returns to his family.

Coach Sang, an Olympic runner-up in the 3,000m steeplechase in 1992, remains impressed with his student’s determination.

“He has continued to amaze me with his self-sacrifice and dedication. He has given 100 per cent of his ability and total commitment to what he does,” he told reporters.

The champion’s often mischievous gaze hardens when the subject of doping arises. Kipchoge has never been caught up in scandal, but the reputation of his Kenyan compatriots has raised questions.

Kipchoge, who will defend his Olympic title in Tokyo next year, is fixated on Saturday’s challenge.

“I have visualised it. I have put it in my heart and my mind that I will break the two-hour barrier,” he said.

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Kenyan World Olympic champion Kipyegon prepares to defend title in Doha

Kipyegon made a winning return to the track after a two-year maternity break at the Prefontaine Diamond League in June

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Kenyan World Olympic champion Kipyegon prepares to defend title in Doha
Gold medallist Kenya's Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon. (Photo by Andrej ISAKOVIC / AFP)

Kenya’s Olympic and world 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon said she was fit and ready to defend her title in Doha after edging Winnie Chebet in the Kenyan trials on Friday.

Kipyegon made a winning return to the track after a two-year maternity break at the Prefontaine Diamond League in June, but a hamstring injury in training interrupted her racing season.

“I thank God I have managed to come back stronger after the long maternity leave, and today I am able to win my race and book a ticket to the world championship,” said Kipyegon, who timed her sprint perfectly to edge the African champion Chebet in the photo-finish.

Kenyan World Olympic champion Kipyegon prepares to defend title in Doha
Gold medallist Kenya’s Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon poses on the podium during the victory ceremony for the women’s 1,500m athletics event at the 2017 IAAF World Championships at the London Stadium in London on August 8, 2017. (Photo by Andrej ISAKOVIC / AFP)

“I am completely healed from the injury and ready to defend my title in Doha, where I expect to meet strong opposition from Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia and Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands.”

Selah Jepleting finished third in 4:05.26  and will join Kipyegon and Chebet at the world championships.

Fresh from winning the Diamond League 1,500m title, Timothy Cheruiyot controlled his race from the gun at the trials, clocking 3:34.91 ahead of Ronald Kwemoi (3:36.61). World under-18 champion George Manangoi was third in 3:37.68.

“I am gunning to win the world title in Doha to make up for the disappointment of the 2017 World Championships in London where I finished second to my compatriot and training partner Elijah Manangoi,” said Cheruiyot.

Elijah Manangoi did not compete in the Kenyan trials but will run in Doha and defend his title as the fourth Kenyan athlete in the men’s 1,500m.

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