Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya is looking to break the world record on his fourth appearance at the Berlin Marathon on Sept. 16.
“I want to enjoy my race and I am not under any pressure. When I prepare for a race, I always aim at working hard to make it count. I want my fourth Berlin Marathon to be one to remember,” Kipchoge, 33, said on Thursday in Eldoret.
Kipchoge seeks to join the elite list of Kenyan star athletes who broke the world record on the Berlin course.
They include Paul Tergat, Haile Gabreselassie (Ethiopia), Patrick Makau, Wilson Kipsang and current holder Dennis Kimetto (2:02.57).
“I am confident I can beat my personal best on this fast course if conditions are good,” said Kipchoge.
The London marathon champion has a personal best time of 2:03:05 which he attained in London in 2016. It is just eight seconds shy of Kimetto’s mark.
Though Kipchoge ran 2:00.25 in Monza, Italy under special conditions, which was not recognized as a world lead, he has the great potential to run under two hours and three minutes.
“Anything is possible so long as you believe,” he said. “I finished the week on a high after rigorous training and I look forward to be at my best form heading to Berlin.”
But Kipchoge will not be running entirely against the clock. He will have to face the only man to have beaten him in the marathon distance since his debut in 2012, Wilson Kipsang, the current New York marathon silver medalist. There is also Eritrea’s Zersenay Tadese.
Kipsang, a former world record holder now 36, set his world record time of 2:03:23 in Berlin in 2013 when Kipchoge finished second, the Kenyan’s only loss in a marathon to date.
Three years later, also in Berlin, Kipsang set a personal best of 2:03:13 which left him runner-up behind Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele, whose time of 2:03:03 was only six seconds outside Kimetto’s world record. Last year in windy and rainy condition, Kipchoge prevailed to win in 2:03:32 while Kipsang dropped out.