Kenenisa Bekele close to the World Record at Berlin Marathon, Kebede first among the women

Kenenisa BekeleThe autumn just began and it is already the time for the Berlin Marathon, the fastest 42 km competition in the world which gifted numerous amazing records in the past few years. The 2016 edition held yesterday was full of expectations as well, especially for what regards Wilson Kipsang and Kenenisa Bekele, stars on the middle and long distances and ready to battle in the streets of the German capital.

The race is immediately fast: after a time of 14’20” after 5 km, the athletes completed the 10 km in 29’00” and the 15 km in 43’37”. Even after the mid of the race the leading group managed to stay below the world record pace, passing the 20 km in 58’01” and the half marathon distance in 1h01’11”. Belele and Kipsang hold the first positions, completing the 25 km in 1h12’47”, a time that provides a forecast of 2h02’51”, only 6” below the world record achieved in Berlin by Dennis Kimetto back in 2014.

Soon before the 30th kilometer, Wilson Kipsang accelerates distancing all the group with the exception of Bekele who manages to react, not without difficulties, placing himself 10 meters behind the leader. The passages of the two keep staying below the world record: 1h27 ’26” at 30km and 1h36’08” at 33km. 7 km away from the ending line, Kipsang’s pace starts oscillating around the world record’s one: the Kenyan completes the 35km in 1h41’46” ai 35km and the 36 km in 1h44’55” , trying to keep at bay the Ethiopian opponent, who is himself looking forward to the national record (2h03’59”) held by Haile Gebrselassie since 2008.

Three kilometers away from the arrival, Kipsang and Bekele regroup, proceeding head-to-head and passing the 40 km in 1h56’55”. At 1500m from the ending line the Ethiopian surprises the former World Record Holder taking the lead of the race. The final victory goes then to Bekele, who ends in 2h03’03”, a time which is only 6” higher than the world record; Kipsang closes his race in second position in 2h03’13” whereas the third is Evans Chebet in 2h05’31”.

Despite the Men’s race, the Women’s one had only one woman dominating the whole competition: Aberu Kebede, who was able to finish in 2h20’45” and to become champion of the Berlin Marathon for the third time, after the first places in 2010 and 2012. The second place went to Birhane Dibaba (2h22’58”), whereas Ruti Aga (2h24’41”) grabbed the third place.

Photo AFP Photo/John MacDougall

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