ONE man must believe he can make history in Vienna today.
And that man is Eliud Kipchoge.
“Some people believe it is impossible to run a marathon in under two hours,” he said. “I respect their views, but they should respect mine.
“This is about history and making a mark in sport. It’s like the first man to go to the Moon. I will be the first man to run under two hours.
“My team and I believe it is possible. We will prove the doubters wrong.”
He came within a whisker – just 26 seconds – of making history at his first attempt in Monza, Italy, in 2017.
But coming so tantalisingly close has given him the confidence to try again.
“In 2017 I was like a boxer who is going in the ring and doesn’t know what will happen,” he said. “But this time I am prepared. I know what will happen.”
Few athletes boast the same mental resolve and total self-belief in their ability as Eliud.
But then again no one in history has gone closer to breaking the magical two-hour barrier.
He has a stunning track record.
At the Berlin Marathon in September last year he set a new world record of 2:01:39.
It was an incredible run that took 78 seconds off the previous best – and the biggest single improvement for more than 50 years.
But running a 1:59 marathon remains the big one.