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Posted: July 13, 2023:  

Athletics:Eliud Kipchoge will run the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON on September 24

The best marathon runner of all time is returning to run the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON: Eliud Kipchoge has reached agreement with the organizers to compete in Germany’s most spectacular road race. The 38-year-old Kenyan superstar will be running the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON for the sixth time. The double Olympic Marathon champion from his triumphs in 2016 and 2021 has already set two world records on this fast course, running 2:01:39 in 2018 and performing even faster last year to take exactly half a minute off that time with 2:01:09.

Eliud Kipchoge finishing in Berlin in 2023, Credit:

Both of last year’s winners will be on the start line to defend their titles on September 24. The Ethiopian Tigist Assefa, who improved the women’s course record with a sensational course record of 2:15:37, will also return to the Berlin race which forms part of the Abbott World Marathon Majors Series.

A year before the Olympic Games in Paris, where Eliud Kipchoge would so dearly love to become the first runner in history to win three Olympic Marathon gold medals, this exceptional athlete will be concentrating on re-establishing his pedigree in Berlin. His previously seeming infallibility has faltered as he suffered a rare loss of form in finishing sixth in the Boston Marathon with 2:09:23 in April, his slowest ever marathon in 20 outings. This was in stark contrast to 2019 when he broke the two-hour barrier for the distance in Vienna with 1:59:40.2, though the event did not conform to competition standards to count as a world record.

“On my road to the Paris Olympic Games, I like to go back to Berlin Marathon, since to me this is the perfect preparation. I have great memories there and I look forward to run the streets of Berlin again, together with the thousands of runners that will join,” said Eliud Kipchoge. Victory in Berlin this year would make him the undisputed record winner of the men’s title. At present he is tied with another running legend, Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia, with four wins apiece.

Among his rivals will be Eliud Kipchoge’s Kenyan compatriot Amos Kipruto.

The latter won the London Marathon last year and possesses a high-quality personal best of 2:03:13. Kipruto has already competed against him previously in Berlin, finishing second in Kipchoge’s world record run with 2:06:23 in 2018.

Tigist Assefa also made headlines a year ago in the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON when the Ethiopian improved her personal best by a staggering margin of almost 20 minutes, taking it down from 2:34:01 to 2:15:37. This performance took Assefa to third fastest on the all-time list for the women’s marathon at that time. Her priority on the fast Berlin course will be to produce another performance of undeniably world class quality and ensure qualification for the Olympic Marathon in Paris in 2024.

In Sheila Chepkirui she will face a leading contender and one of the fast rising stars among Kenya’s marathon women. She finished in London this spring in an outstanding fourth place among a field of great quality, running a personal best of 2:18:51. Chepkirui should have fond memories of Berlin, having won the GENERALI BERLIN HALF MARATHON despite freezing temperatures in a course record of 65:02 in 2022. She will have to raise her game still further, however, if she is to win a place among the three Kenyan women to be selected for the Olympic Marathon.

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