NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
World Marathon record holder Dennis Kimetto says
Kenyan athletes have the strength and skills to run the fast
Berlin Marathon course in under two hours and 50 seconds.
champion Eliud Kipchoge (2:03.05) and New York marathon silver
medalist Wilson Kipsang (2:03.13) will be the top candidates at
the Berlin marathon on Sept 16 and Kimetto believes either
athlete can run away with the world record. Kimetto’s world
record stands at 2:2:57.
“First there is a
race to be won and then the record. Kipchoge is the best so far
but Kipsang has the ability to sprint and win if he has his
tactics right. Both athletes are under pressure since they will
all want to prove a point,” said Makau on Thursday in Nairobi.
Kipsang was forced
to pull out of Berlin marathon last year under rainy and windy
conditions after just 31km, citing stomach cramps. He recovered
and a month later, and proved his critics wrong to secure silver
in New York.
“My training has
gone on very well and I’m looking forward to a good run in
Berlin. It has been an injury-free period for me since running
in Tokyo although there has been lots of rain but that didn’t
stop me from achieving my dream,” said Kipsang.
Kipsang will be running his fourth marathon in Berlin, having
made his debut in 2013 running a world record time of 2:03:23
and has since followed it up with 2:03:13 for a second-place
behind Kenenisa Bekele (2:03.03) in 2016.
There will also be
Abera Kuma of Ethiopia, the Rotterdam marathon silver medalist.
The 27-year-old Ethiopian has a personal best of 2:05:50. Former
World marathon record holder Patrick Makau has warned that it
will require more than skill, strength and pacesetters to break
the world record.
“Breaking a world
record in my experience requires more hard work, experience,
mental and physical strength as well as a favorable course and
weather conditions,” he warned.
But that has not
dampened Kipsang’s resolution to go for the top mark, which has
50,000 U.S. dollar prize.
“My target is to be
on the podium as the winner. I will not be looking at who’s in
the race, but I will be able to use my training skills to be on
the podium. I broke the world record in 2013 in Berlin. I know
the course very well and I want to repeat that by lowering the
mark once again,” added Kipsang.