Kenenisa leads Kipsang to the altar as Kebede seals Ethiopian double


Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele crosses the finish line past the Brandenburg Gate to win the 43rd ...
Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele crosses the finish line past the Brandenburg Gate to win the 43rd Berlin Marathon on September 25, 2016 (AFP Photo/John MacDougall )

Former world marathon record holder Wilson Kipsang was beaten to second by Kenenisa Bekele as Aberu Kebede sealed the Ethiopian double during the 2016 running of the BMW Berlin Marathon this afternoon.

Kipsang clocked 2:03:13 to finish behind the Paris Marathon champion who breast the tape in 2 2:03:03 to set a new Ethiopian record.

Dennis Kimetto’s world record of 2:02:57 once again proved untouchable in the men’s race where Kipsang who won the 2013 Berlin race in the previous standard of 2:03:23 clocked the fourth fastest mark of all time.

Evans Chebet closed the podium in 2:05:31 as Kenyans took seven of the top ten places in the finishing order.

In the corresponding women’s race, Kebede won in 2:20:45 for her second World Marathon Majors victory of her career after winning the 2013 edition of Tokyo as she led an Ethiopian sweep of the podium as Birhane Dibaba (2:23:58) and Ruti Aga (2:24:41) followed the winner home in second and third.

Janet Rono was the first Kenyan across the tape in sixth (2:29:35) behind Reia Iwade of Japan and home girl, Katharina Heinig who finished fourth and fifth in 2:28:16 and 2:28:34.

-Disappointed Bekele- 

Kenenisa admitted he was disappointed to have narrowly missed out on the world record after shedding off two minutes off his personal best.

“It was a fantastic time for me to get a personal best, but still I am disappointed to have missed the world record,” the men 5000m and 10000m record holder who finished third at this year’s London marathon said after the race.

“I am happy to have run a personal best and he (Bekele) ran a fantastic race,” said Kipsang, who ran ten seconds faster than the 2:03:23 then-world record he ran here three years ago.

“I am also a bit disappointed to have missed the world record, but I have to congratulate him. We will have to come back and try again for the world record next year,” the two-time London champion and 2012 Olympics bronze winner added.

Bekele ran the second fastest time ever, just seven seconds away from Kimetto’s record, and Kipsang’s time was the fourth fastest.

The men’s world record has fallen seven times in Berlin, six times since 2003.

This was another fast race over 42km, the relatively flat course lacking the cobblestones of London and the bridges of the New York courses.

Kipsang reached the 35km mark in 1:41:56 – exactly on the world record pace – with Bekele trailing just behind him, but the Ethiopian caught the Kenyan with three kilometres to go.

Bekele made his move in the dying stages of the race, pulling clear of Kipsang as the pair headed towards the finish just past Berlin’s iconic Brandenburg Gate.

-Additional material from AFP

LEADING RESULTS

MEN

1          Bekele, Kenenisa (ETH) 2:03:03

2          Kipsang, Wilson (KEN) 2:03:13

3          Chebet, Evans (KEN) 2:05:31

4          Lemma, Sisay (ETH) 2:06:56

5          Kiptanui, Eliud (KEN) 2:07:47

6          Ronoh, Geoffrey (KEN) 2:09:29

7          Lagat, Alfers (KEN)   2:09:46

8          Gebregergish, Yohanes (ERI) 02:09:48

9          Kendagor, Jacob (KEN) 2:10:01

10        Simotwo, Suleiman (KEN)    2:10:22

WOMEN

1          Kebede, Aberu (ETH) 2:20:45

2          Dibaba, Birhane (ETH) 2:23:58

3          Aga, Ruti (ETH) 2:24:41

4          Iwade, Reia (JPN) 2:28:16

5          Heinig, Katharina (GER) 2:28:34

6          Ronoh, Janet (KEN) 2:29:35

7          Dolinin, Elena (ISR)   2:35:59

8          Fien, Cassie (AUS)   2:37:28

9          McCarthy, Claire (IRL) 2:38:00

10        Ganiel, Gladys (IRL) 2:39:10

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Story By Mutwiri Mutuota
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