Bekele goes 2:03:03 WL and NR
BERLIN (GER, Sep 25): Kenenisa Bekele produced a fantastic come-from-behind victory in the Berlin Marathon to finish within six seconds of Dennis Kimetto’s world record. Bekele worked his way back into contention each time after being dropped by Wilson Kipsang who led the Ethiopian by four seconds through 30km in 1:27:26 and five seconds through 35km in 1:46:56. After losing ground again after the 35km mark, Bekele was back on level terms with Kipsang through the 40km checkpoint before producing a brilliant closing 2.2km of 6:08 to break Kipsang and come within touching distance of the world record with his winning time of 2:03:03 ahead of Kipsang, second in 2:03:13. Bekele’s time was an Ethiopian record, World lead 2016 and the third fastest time in history behind Kimetto and Geoffrey Mutai’s 2:03:02 from the 2011 Boston Marathon while Kipsang’s time was faster than his world record run of 2:03:23 three years ago with the joint sixth fastest time in history. Kimetto’s world record looked under jeopardy as the leading pack passed halfway in 61:11 but none of the official pacemakers were in contention at this point. Evans Chebet was a distant third in 2:05:31ahead of Ethiopia’s Sisay Lemma (2:06:56) and Eliud Kiptanui (2:07:47). Best European was SwedenÂ´s Mikael Ekvall as 14th in 2:13:16. Aberu Kebede won the women’s race for a third time in a fast 2:20:45 ahead of her Ethiopian team-mates Birhane Dibaba (2:23:58) and Ruti Aga (2:24:41). Kebede passed through halfway on Ethiopian record pace in 69:27 but couldn’t quite maintain that pace in the second half. Her time is second best in 2016. Japan’s Reia Iwade finished fourth (2:28:16) while Katharina Heinig, the daughter of marathon great Kathrin Dorre-Heinig, was fifth in a big lifetime best of 2:28:34. 41,283 runners from 122 countries entered this year’s race.