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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
Former Kenya star runner predicts fall of marathon record in Berlin   

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- A former Kenyan international long distance runner on Thursday predicted that the world marathon record will be lowered during the Berlin Marathon scheduled for Sunday.

Korir, who represented the East African country in 10,000m, said that the race will no doubt be the “Marathon of the Year” with a world record in the offing as three of the world’s best road runners push themselves to the limit.

“Whereas Kenyans’ focus will be on Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge and former world record holder, Kipsang, the recent arrival of Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele has thrown the spanner in the works,” Korir remarked.

Korir, who is also the Director of Youth Development at Athletics Kenya (AK), said that despite the entry of defending champion, Kenyans are still exuding confidence that the world record will remain within Kenya.

“The current world record holder, Dennis Kimetto, must be crossing his fingers that the world mark of 2:02:57 he set in 2014 will survive the onslaught. However, I am 100 percent convinced that the mark will not survive because anything besides a new record will be a disappointment for the athletics fraternity,” Korir remarked.

All the three runners skipped the World Championships in London last month to prepare for Berlin Marathon, an indication that they are all geared for the epic race.

He said that Kipchoge starts favorite especially after the Nike Breaking2 project run in July where he missed running sub-two hours by 24 seconds when he ran 42km in 2:00:24.

The time is not an official world record due to some aspects to the event that led to the time not satisfying International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) criteria because it was run under a controlled environment.

“Kipchoge is a determined individual and his clamor to lower the world record cannot be gainsaid. It should not be lost to people that he is the third fastest runner with a time of 2:03:05,” Korir reiterated.

Last week, the Olympic champion said in Nairobi that he was going to the Berlin Marathon for nothing short of a world record.

Kipsang set the world record of 2:03:23 during the 2013 Berlin Marathon where a total of seven men’s world records have been broken between 1998 and 2014.

All the three runners have won the Berlin Marathon title at one time and therefore know the course well, although history favors the Kenyans, who out of the seven world record holders, four belong to them.

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