Bekele threatens World record as Ethiopians rule Berlin


Bekele threatens World record as Ethiopians rule Berlin
Athletics - Berlin Marathon - Berlin, Germany - September 29, 2019 Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele high fives a spectator as he approaches the finish line in the men's elite race REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

In Summary

  • Ethiopian great Kenenisa Bekele narrowly missed Eliud Kipchoge’s world record as ran an astonishing two hours, one minute and 41 seconds, en route to winning the Berlin Marathon on Sunday
  • His winning time was just two seconds short of Kipchoge’s winning time last year on the same street with countrymen Birhanu Legese and Sisa Lemma completing an Ethiopian podium sweep

Ethiopian great Kenenisa Bekele narrowly missed Eliud Kipchoge’s world record as ran an astonishing two hours, one minute and 41 seconds, en route to winning the Berlin Marathon on Sunday.

His winning time was just two seconds short of Kipchoge’s winning time last year on the same street with countrymen Birhanu Legese and Sisa Lemma completing an Ethiopian podium sweep.

Kipchoge set the world record of 2:01:39 in the German capital last year but skipped the race to focus on his attempt to become the first to break the two-hour mark at a specially organized event in Vienna, Austria next month.

Bekele, the world 5000m and 10000m record holder looked to be struggling half way into the race dropping behind compatriots Birhanu Legese and Sisay Lemma but surged he surged forward at the 35km mark to fall only two seconds behind the world record of 2:01:39 set by Eliud Kipchoge on the same course a year ago.

“I knew I could do better than this but however I am still recovering from injury but I think it was a fantastic run. You never give up until the finish line,” Bekele said.

Legese- the reigning Tokyo marathon champion came home second in 2:02:48 as Lemma placed third in 2:03:36.

In the corresponding women’s race Ethiopia’s Ashete Bekere (2:20:14) led compatriot Mare Dibaba (2:20:22) to the first two slots respectively as Kenya’s Sally Chepyego finished third.

Defending champion Gladys Cherono dropped out of the race

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Story By Gilbert Kiprotich
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