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February 16, 2019

Eyes on record

Wilson Kipsang and Eliud Kipchoge during the 2015 London Marathon /COURTESY
Wilson Kipsang and Eliud Kipchoge during the 2015 London Marathon /COURTESY
Battle of titans pitting former world marathon record holder Wilson Kipsang and Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge that would see a new world mark looms in Berlin in September.
The duo will headline the Berlin Marathon in September with the race expected to bore incredible time performance as both have announced they will go for a win or a new world marathon record. Kipsang and Kipchoge have attempted to break Dennis Kimetto’s mark of 2:02.57 he set at the 2014 Berlin Marathon but failed and in the process improved on their respective personal bests.
During an interview, Kipsang revealed he was ready for a third attempt of a world marathon record. “The world marathon record must fall in September this year. I will be running in the race and my focus will be on setting a new mark,” Kipsang said on the sidelines of the just concluded IAAF World Under-18 Championships in Nairobi. The athlete, who comes from Muskut village in Kerio Valley, said he is well prepared for the challenge.
“This year, I only participated in few races and after I missed out on the squad to London, I focused my energy on making an impact in Berlin,” he said.
Kipsang attempted breaking the record world last year in Berlin and early this year in Tokyo.
While heading to Berlin last year, Kipsang announced he was going for the mark but placed second in a personal best of 2:03.13 with Ethiopia’s multi-record holder Kenenisa Bekele running away with the victory in 2:03.03 and missing the WR by mere six seconds.
“I think the record would have gone that year had I responded after Bekele overtook me. But I relaxed,” he said. This year in Tokyo, he cemented his legacy as one of the all-time greats in marathon, clocking the fourth fastest time on Japanese soil of 2:03.58 to win the race but missed the world mark he was going for.
Kipchoge tried it at the 2015 Berlin and 2016 London Marathon but bulging insoles affected his performance in Berlin and set a course record of 2:03.05 in London last year.
The two are meeting in a race for the third time, having clashed at the 2015 and 2016 London marathon with Kipchoge prevailing upon Kipsang on both occasions.
This year, Kipsang has run the fastest time of 2:03.58 in Tokyo as Kipchoge boast of 2:00.25 in the scientific Nike sub-2 hour project in Monza in May.
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