Berlin Marathon

Kenenisa Bekele wins Berlin Marathon, just misses world record

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Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele restaked his claim as the greatest runner in history, winning the Berlin Marathon in 2:01:41 to miss the marathon world record by two seconds on Sunday.

Bekele, a 37-year-old who struggled the last three years, came just shy of Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge‘s world record of 2:01:39 set in Berlin last year.

He did so with a blazing finish, coming from 13 seconds behind in the 22nd mile to prevail by 67 seconds over countryman Birhanu Legese, who clocked the fourth-fastest time ever.

“I’m sorry, you know, just few seconds I missed world record,” Bekele said, smiling. “Still I can do better than before. … My preparation was not 100 percent because of injury. I was in a rehabilitation center three months ago. After my preparation was a little bit short for a marathon, especially for a record you need four, five months.”

MORE: 2019 Berlin Marathon Results

Kipchoge, 34, skipped Berlin, the world’s fastest marathon for its ideal weather and pancake-flat course, to try and become the first person to break two hours in a marathon in a special event in Austria in October. Vienna will not be record-eligible, though, with pacers set to come in and out of the event.

When Kipchoge took 78 seconds off the world record last year, he also made his argument as the greatest runner in history. He is on the longest winning streak in modern marathoning — 10 straight victories dating to 2014.

But Kipchoge’s success on the track — a world title and two Olympic 5000m medals — pales in comparison to Bekele. The Ethiopian owns eight combined Olympic and world titles between the 5000m and 10,000m, plus world records at both distances.

And Bekele now owns two of the seven fastest marathons in history.

But this one came from out of nowhere. Bekele’s other top marathon time — 2:03:03 — came in Berlin, but way back in 2016. He failed to finish two marathons in 2017 and another in 2018. His last full race at 26.2 miles was at the April 2018 London Marathon, where he was sixth in 2:08:53.

Ethiopian Ashete Bekere won the Berlin women’s race in 2:20:14. Pre-race favorite Gladys Cherono of Kenya dropped out between the 19th and 22nd miles. American Sara Hall joined a deep group of U.S. Olympic hopefuls by finishing fifth in 2:22:16, taking 4:04 off her personal best.

The fall marathon season continues in Chicago on Oct. 13, featuring Mo Farah and Galen Rupp.

MORE: World championships women’s marathon a race of attrition

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2019 Berlin Marathon results

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2019 Berlin Marathon top finishers from men’s and women’s elite and wheelchair races. Full searchable results are here. ..

Men
1. Kenenisa Bekele (ETH) – 2:01:41
2. Birhanu Legese (ETH) — 2:02:48
3. Sisay Lemma (ETH) — 2:03:36
4. Jonathan Korir (KEN) — 2:06:45
5. Felix Kandie (KEN) — 2:08:07
6. Yohanes Gebregergish (ERI) — 2:08:26
7. Dong Guojian (CHN) — 2:08:28
8. Bethwel Yegon (KEN) — 2:08:35
9. Kenta Murayama (JPN) — 2:08:56
10. Abel Kipchumba (KEN) — 2:09:39

Women
1. Ashete Bekere (ETH) — 2:20:14
2. Mare Dibaba (ETH) — 2:20:21
3. Sally Chepyego (KEN) — 2:21:06
4. Helen Tola (ETH) — 2:21:36
5. Sara Hall (USA) — 2:22:16
6. Melat Kejeta (GER) — 2:23:57
7. Sally Kipyego (USA) — 2:25:10
8. Haftamnesh Tesfay (ETH) — 2:26:50
9. Martina Strahl (SUI) — 2:31:24
10. Nina Lauwaert (BEL) — 2:31:25

Wheelchair Men
1. Marcel Hug (SUI) — 1:28:09
2. David Weir (GBR) — 1:31:45
3. Brent Lakatos (CAN) — 1:31:46
4. Hiroki Nishida (JPN) — 1:31:46
5. Ernst van Dyk (RSA) — 1:31:48

Wheelchair Women
1. Manuela Schar (SUI) — 1:38:07
2. Amanda McGrory (USA) — 1:42:05
3. Madison De Rozario (BRA) — 1:42:09
4. Aline Dos Santos Rocha (BRA) — 1:42:16
5. Jade Jones (GBR) — 1:43:06

MORE: World championships women’s marathon a race of attrition

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Kipchoge lacks ‘words to describe’ record-breaking run

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Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge smashed the marathon world record, winning the Berlin race in 2 hours, 1 minute, 39 seconds on Sunday.

His feat came as Kevin Mayer set a decathlon world record with a total of 9,126 points in his native France on Sunday, topping a previous best of 9,045 points set by American Ashton Eaton three years ago.

Organizers of the Berlin marathon initially put Kipchoge’s time at 2 hours, 1 minute, 40 seconds, but later reduced it by one second.

The 33-year-old broke the previous world record set in Berlin by fellow Kenyan Dennis Kimetto in 2014 by 1 minute and 18 seconds.

“I lack words to describe this day,” Kipchoge said after becoming the first person to finish a marathon in less than 2 hours and 2 minutes.

“They say you miss two times but you can’t miss the third time,” he said in reference to his two previous failed attempts to break the world record in Berlin.

The Kenyan defended his 2017 title in the German capital, pulling ahead of other runners early on amid perfect conditions. Mild temperatures and little to no wind gave the runners of the 45th Berlin marathon an advantage over last year, when rain slowed the race.

Berlin debutant Amos Kipruto came second in 2 hours, 6 minutes, 23 seconds, followed by a third Kenyan, former world-record holder Wilson Kipsang, with 2 hours, 6 minutes, 48 seconds.

Shogo Nakamura of Japan narrowly missed setting a new national record with a time of 2 hours, 8 minutes, 16 seconds.
Gladys Cherono won the women’s race in 2 hours, 18 minutes, 11 seconds, a women’s record for the Berlin marathon. The previous track record was set by Mizuki Noguchi of Japan 13 years ago.

The 35-year-old Kenyan, who has won twice before in Berlin, said she felt confident going into the race but wasn’t sure she would beat favorite Tirunesh Dibaba.
Dibaba came third behind fellow Ethiopian Rutia Aga.

A total of 44,389 runners from 133 countries took part in the race, organizers said.