After Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge narrowly missed the World marathon record by the thickness of his fest in London April in 2015, Kenyans return to Berlin this Sunday with Dennis Kimeto’s mark of 2:02.57 being threatened.
Prospects for a new world mark will not be in doubt after the organizers of the annual extravaganza unveiled a classy line-up for the International Association of Athletics Federation Gold Label Road Race early this month that includes Kipchoge with his unofficial 2:00.25 and former record holder Wilson Kipsang.
The BMW Berlin Marathon, synonymous with World Records, has attracted the world fastest with Kipsang vowing to reclaim the existing world mark from Kimeto.
However, it is the presence of Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele that is making the race mouth-watering with the multiple recorder holder expected to release his assassin tactics, also aiming for the world record.
“I will run as Eliud Kipchoge. I have trained and planned for this race with advice from my coaches. For now, I just want to run. What I know without contradicting myself is that no man is limited,” said Kipchoge, the Olympic champion who trains in Kaptagat with Global Sports Communications.
Apart from Kipchoge, Kipsang and Bekele, other set of Kenyans and Ethiopians will add gravy to the Sunday race that is one of the Abbot World Marathon Majors as some play the all-important role of pace making.
The women field will also be with the inclusion of 2015 winner Gladys Cherono who goes to the race boasting of her 2:19.57 on the course.
Cherono, accompanied by Prague champion Vallary Aiyabei, will wrestle it out with the Ethiopian trio of Amare Beriso (2:20.48), Gulume Tollesa (2:23.12) and Ruti Aga (2:24.41) as she aims at going a grade better from her year’s world lead of 2:20.37 and also reclaim the title.
“I have come to Berlin to attack my personal best,” promised the 34-year old Kenyan.
In 2015, Eliud Kipchoge’s dream of shattering the record failed to materialize after his preferred ‘Nike Streak 6’ shoe linings flipped outside, slowing him over first one kilometer into the race. He won the race, albeit under difficult circumstances, returning 2:04.01.
Kenyans have set the last three world records in a string with Patrick Makau chalking 2:03.38 from Haile Gebreselassie’s 2:03.59 before Wilson Kipsang and Dennis Kimeto lowered the mark to 2:03.23 and 2:02.57 in 2013 and 2014 respectively.
More 43,852 participants from over 137 countries are gracing taking part in the IAAF Gold Label race that will run at 09.30am Kenyan time on Sunday.
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