World record holder in both the 5000m and 10000m, Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia will be targeting to lower the marathon world record at the 48th edition of the BMW Berlin-Marathon that will be held on 26th September in Berlin, Germany.
Bekele will target to lower his time as he clearly demonstrated it when he took the top honors at the 2019 Berlin marathon when he crossed the line with the second fastest time of 2:01.41.
This is underlined not only by his victories at the Berlin-Marathon in 2016 and 2019, but also by his captivating performances at the 2009 World Athletics Championships in the capital city on the Spree River. At the races in the Olympic Stadium, Bekele won World Championship gold in the 10,000 m for the fourth time in a row and took the World Championship title in the 5,000 m a week later.
“I will come back with good energy and motivation to Berlin-Marathon. The last race in Berlin motivated me a lot, so I hope I will fulfil my plan this year.” So, in many ways, the Berlin-Marathon 2021 will be an event with historic sporting significance,” Bekele said.
The 39-year-old will try to match or lower the time of his only rival the greatest athlete of all time Eliud Kipchoge, who ran 2:01.39 in 2018 and ranks above him in the world all-time list. Bekele knows all too well what it is like to miss the world record by a narrow margin.
In 2016, he won in 2:03.03 which was just six seconds outside the then world record. There are also historical precedents for such narrow misses in marathon history: in 1985 the Welshman Steve Jones ran within one second of the world record in Chicago.
The 2019 podium clean swept by Ethiopians as Birhanu Legese, crossed the line in second in 2:02.48 to become the third fastest marathoner in history. Third place went to Sisay Lemma, running a personal best of 2:03.36.