Berlin Marathon defending champion Gladys Cherono and Edna Kiplagat unlike their male compatriots have ruled out breaking the world record when they line up for the Berlin marathon on Sunday.
Whereas their fellow Kenyan male counterparts Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge and New York City marathon silver medalist, the two have expressed their doubts in tackling the world record of 2:15:25, set by Britain’s Paula Radcliffe 15 years ago.
Instead, the Kenyan duo of Cherono and Kiplagat are focused on setting a new course record in Berlin.
The current course record was set in 2005 by Japan’s the 2004 Athens Olympic marathon champion Mizuki Noguchi, who ran 2:19:12, which also stands as the Asian record to this day.
However, Berlin race director Mark Milde has a feeling the world record will be under threat, especially from Chicago Marathon champion Ethiopia’s Tirunesh Dibaba.
The 32-year-old Ethiopian has won three gold medals at consecutive Olympic Games (2008 and 2012) and five World Championships from 2003 to 2013. Dibaba has also four World Cross Country titles to her credit.
Dibaba’s personal best is 2:17:56, set in finishing second at the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon which makes her the third fastest woman in the history of the marathon.
Cherono, who won the title last year, by posting a time of 2:20:23, holds her best time at 2:19:25 set in winning the first of her two Berlin titles in 2015 is eyeing the third crown.
“I want to improve on my personal best on Sunday,” said Cherono on Thursday.
Edna Kiplagat who began her World Marathon Majors (WMM) odyssey with victory in 2010 at the New York marathon said:“Berlin is a fast course and hopefully, I will improve my best time. After a few days of recovery from the tough race I had in Boston, I feel better and ready for action.”