NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 11- Olympic Marathon Champion Eliud Kipchoge will return to the Berlin Marathon on September 16 as he goes out on yet another mission of lowering compatriot Dennis Kimetto’s World record of 2:02:57.
Kipchoge whose personal time of 2:03:05 set in winning the 2016 London Marathon is eight seconds shy of the world’s best is optimistic that if the conditions are perfect, then he will be in line to improve his personal best time and probably have a stab at the record.
“Berlin is a special race and a marathon I love to run. Every edition I run faster than the previous edition. In the first edition I ran 2:04:05, in the second time I ran 2:04:00 and last year, I ran 2:03:32. What will I do this year? You will see in September,” Kipchoge posed on a short promotional video posted on his official Twitter feed.
The Olympic champion entered the race last year with high hopes of having a go at the record especially coming on after his record breaking ‘test-tube’ run in the Nike Breaking Two project where he ran an incredible 2:00:25 at the Monza Formula One track.
However, unfriendly weather meant he couldn’t go on to break the record on a course that has seen the time shattered time and again. He nonetheless went on to win the race ahead of the Ethiopian duo of Guye Adola and Mosinet Geremew.
“My preparation is entirely concentrated on the Berlin Marathon on September 16. I am confident I can beat my personal best on this fast course if conditions are good,” Kipchoge told the Berlin Marathon official website.
Kipchoge’s mental as well as physical prowess has suggested for some time that the world record is within his reach.
This year, Kipchoge will once again face familiar foes former world record holder Wilson Kipsang who dropped off the race midway last year. Kipsang will have pleasant memories of Berlin, coming to a course that he ran 2:03:23 to set a new record in 2013 with Kipchoge finishing second.
Another contender to be taken into consideration is Eritrea’s five time World Half Marathon champion and record holder Zersenay Tadese. The Eritrean is the oldest of the three and, though highly experienced over the distance events in general, has the least experience in the marathon.
No-one has gone close to his world record of 58:23 for the Half Marathon, set in Lisbon in 2010. His personal best for the marathon is 2:10:41, achieved in the London Marathon in 2012.