Triple Olympic track champion Kenenisa Bekele, the second-fastest marathon runner in history, said on he can shave around 90 seconds off the current world record over at the 2017 Berlin marathon on 24th September.
Bekele is the most successful long distance track runner in history. Three times Olympic champion and World champion on five occasions at 5 and 10,000m, he has also won 11 World Cross Country titles over the short and long distances. For good measure, he also holds the world records for 5 and 10,000m.
He ran two hours, three minutes and three seconds when winning Berlin last September, six seconds outside Dennis Kimetto’s world record of 2:02:57 set on the same course in 2014.
The 35-year-old, said he is eyeing “just the world record”, he told reporters he believes he can run “around 2:01:30” before retiring.
In 2015 at Dubai Marathon Bekele was forced to drop out when an injury forced him to pull out mid race and again in 2017 at London Marathon he complained of the Nike shoe he was racing with that caused blisters forcing him to finish second behind Daniel Wanjiru of Kenya.
“I am fully confident. My preparation is going well. I am healthy enough,” he said on the sidelines of a press conference ahead of the coming race that he will battle with two Kenyans, Olympic Marathon Champion Eliud Kipchoge and former world record holder Wilson Kipsang.
Mark Milde, race director of the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON since 1999 whose duties include recruiting the elite field, is delighted at this summit meeting of such distance running talent: “It’s a dream match-up. It’s not often that the three strongest marathon men in the world race each other. As organizers we are crossing our fingers for good weather and thrilling competition.”