Berlin – Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele emerged victorious in a memorable battle with Kenya’s Wilson Kipsang to win the BMW Berlin Marathon here today.
Bekele’s winning time of 2:03:03 was an Ethiopian record and the second fastest time in history on a record-eligible course.
He took command of the race inside the final kilometre, surging away from former world record holder Kipsang to take his first victory in Berlin, smashing Haile Gebrselassie’s Ethiopian record of 2:03:59 in the process.
Kipsang came home second in 2:03:13, taking 10 seconds off his personal best.
The women’s race saw Ethiopia’s Aberu Kebede take victory in commanding fashion, running 2:20:45 to come home more than three minutes clear of compatriot Birhane Dibaba.
Kebede, Dibaba and fellow Ethiopian Ruti Aga ran together through 15km in 49:40, but Kebede began to press on alone before halfway, which she reached in 1:09:27. From there, she extended her advantage all the way to the finish, coming up just 15 seconds shy of her personal best of 2:20:30.
With her third Berlin win after 2010 and 2012 Kebede joins Berlin’s record winners Uta Pippig (Germany) and Renata Kokowska (Poland). Birhane Dibaba (2:23:58) and Ruti Aga (2:24:41) made it an all Ethiopian podium in Berlin in ideal weather conditions.
41,283 runners from 122 countries entered the 43rd edition of the race, which is part of the Abbott World Marathon Majors.
Read more at: IAAf.orf