NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 21 – World record-holder Dennis Kimetto will next compete over 26.2 miles at the Vienna City Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label road race scheduled for April 22.
Although the likes of Haile Gebrselassie and Paula Radcliffe have contested the half marathon in the Austrian capital, this will be the first time in the 34-year history of the event that a marathon world record-holder has lined up for the Vienna City Marathon.
The 34-year-old, who ran a world record of 2:02:57 in Berlin 2014, hopes to rekindle his career in Vienna next month.
“I was able to train without injuries for a good period,” said Kimetto, who last completed a marathon in London in 2016 when he finished ninth in 2:11:44. “I believe in my capabilities and want to show a strong performance in Vienna.
“If conditions are good then I want to attack the course record (2:05:41),” he added of the mark set by Ethiopia’s Getu Feleke in 2014. “The most important thing is that after several disappointing races in the past two years I can achieve a good marathon result again.”
Kimetto took the road-running scene by storm with three major wins in the spring of 2012. He first won the star-studded Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, and then won the Berlin Half Marathon with a lifetime best of 59:14 before returning to the German capital one month later to break the world 25km best with 1:11:18.
After a second-place finish in 2:04:16 – the fastest debut marathon on a record-eligible course at that time – in Berlin later that year, Kimetto went on to win the Tokyo and Chicago marathons in 2013.
Kimetto’s world record has survived challenges from marathon superstars Eliud Kipchoge, Wilson Kipsang and Kenenisa Bekele over the past three years. But during that time, Kimetto has struggled to reproduce his dominant form from 2012-2014.
“Dennis wants to show something in Vienna,” said his manager Gerard van de Veen. He is an athlete of extraordinary quality.
“After he ran his world record in Berlin, his physical problems started. I think the race in Berlin took a lot out of his body. We suggested to him to run in Vienna because we have good experience with the event and the course is fine for running a good time.”