• Kenenisa Bekele: “I proved what I can do“

Article source:


It was one of the best duels in marathon history and with his victory Kenenisa Bekele proved himself once and for all that he is a world class performer at the distance. 

The 34-year-old Ethiopian’s win in 2:03:03 in the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON on Sunday, a mere six seconds outside the world record, was the second fastest ever on an officially approved course and the fastest in the world this year. It also gave Bekele particular satisfaction in making him the Ethiopian record holder. That honour had belonged to another legend of distance running, Haile Gebrselassie, who broke the world record here in Berlin with 2:03:59 in 2008. 


Given Sunday’s performance, the world record of 2:02:57, set by Kenya’s Dennis Kimetto in Berlin two year ago, is very much within Bekele’s reach. Opinions were divided beforehand whether Kenenisa Bekele could produce such a strong performance since the previous races in his marathon career had been an emotional rollercoaster. He made his debut in Paris in 2014 with a speedy 2:05:04, a time which Bekele described in the week before Berlin as “slow, compared to the top runners.” He didn’t exactly make headlines with fourth place in Chicago six months later, clocking 2:05:51 and failed to finish Dubai in January 2015. 

A return of the achilles injury which had troubled him for so long left the 5 and 10,000m world record holder operating on an apparently restricted training regime but he made an impressive return with third place in 2:06:36 in London in April 2016. To his dismay, this wasn’t enough to convince the Ethiopian selectors that he was worth a place in the Olympic marathon team for Rio.

Three times on Sunday, Wilson Kipsang, the eventual runner-up in his own personal best of 2:03:13, led by between 5 and 25 metres, yet every time Kenenisa Bekele fought back to draw level. Was he surprised to be able to call on such reserves? “No, I knew I had trained well and what I could run. Between 25 and 35 kilometres I had a few problems but I knew what my strengths were,” reflected Bekele.

When Kenenisa Bekele turned to the marathon in the spring of 2014, he had two major targets in mind: the world record and winning the Olympic marathon in the summer of 2016 in Rio. He showed in Berlin on Sunday that he is capable of breaking the world record. Bekele is sure he can run faster than 2:03:03. “The race was fantastic but I must make a couple of changes in training,” he said, having made sure he had his own physiotherapist accompany him from Addis Abeba to Berlin.
 
Achieving his second goal, that of winning the Olympic marathon title, appears to be less likely. Rio would certainly have been his best chance. “I believe the selectors understand now why I complained at the time at not being selected. I’ve proved what I can do by this race in Berlin,” said Kenenisa Bekele. But his manager Jos Hermens believes there may still be a chance of fulfilling his Olympic dream: “In 2020 Kenenisa will be 38 – why not? You should never give up. I see a career as being like a candle which, of course, at some stage goes out. But in recent years Kenenisa’s has not been burning much.”
 
In the short term Kenenisa Bekele is giving serious consideration to running the World Championships in London next year. “If the federation select me, I’ll run the World Championships in London.”

More information is available online at: www.berlin-marathon.com 

Photo credit: www.photorun.net



Latest Videos
» Valencia Half Marathon 2018 - Live Stream
28 October 2018 at 06:00 (UTC)
» Mainova Frankfurt Marathon 2018 - Live Stream
28 October 2018 at 08:00 (UTC)
» New York CIty Marathon 2018 - Live Stream
04 November 2018 at 13:20 (UTC)
» Istanbul Marathon 2018 - Live Stream
11 November 2018 at 07:00 (UTC)
Flash News
» UEFA Champions League - Live Stream
23 Oct 2018 at 16:55 (UTC)
» Manchester United vs Juventus - Live Stream
23 Oct 2018 at 19:00 (UTC)
Past Headlines Latest Results Upcoming Events
21 Oct Toronto Waterfront Marathon 2018
21 Oct Delhi Half Marathon 2018
21 Oct Amsterdam Marathon 2018
14 Oct The Bridgestone Great 10k (Berlin, GER)
14 Oct EDP Maratona de Lisboa, (POR)
14 Oct Durban 10KM
14 Oct Eindhoven Marathon 2018
13 Oct NCAA D1 Pre Nationals 2018, (Madison,
11 Oct Athletics Youth Olympic Games (Buenos
07 Oct Košice Peace Marathon (SVK)
07 Oct Bank of America Chicago Marathon 2018
07 Oct Cardiff Half Marathon 2018 (GBR)
06 Oct Youth Olympic Games, (Buenos Aires 2018)
28 Oct Mainova Frankfurt Marathon 2018
28 Oct Volkswagen Ljubljana Marathon
28 Oct Marseille-Cassis 20KM
28 Oct Valencia Half Marathon 2018
28 Oct Venice Marathon 2018
04 Nov New York CIty Marathon 2018
04 Nov Marathon des Alpes-Maritimes
04 Nov Maratona do Porto EDP
04 Nov Hangzhou Marathon 2018
11 Nov Istanbul Marathon 2018
11 Nov Beirut Marathon 2018
11 Nov Maratón Internacional Megacable
11 Nov Hefei International Marathon
08 Oct Live: Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires ...
08 Oct Mo Farah wins Chicago Marathon with new ...
07 Oct Results: Chicago Marathon 2018 ...
04 Oct Chebet and Saina Join Strong Frankfurt ...
02 Oct Haspa Marathon Hamburg runs together with ...
02 Oct Chicago Marathon 2018 Elite Athletes Field ...
27 Sep This Weekend's Top Cross and Road Races to ...
17 Sep Eliud Kipchoge credits teamwork for his ...
16 Sep Watch: Kevin Mayer Breaks Decathlon World ...
16 Sep Kipchoge 2:01:39 Smashes World Marathon ...
16 Sep Results: 2018 BMW Berlin Marathon ...
15 Sep Another young RunCzech Racing star emerges ...
14 Sep Live: 2018 BMW Berlin Marathon ...
Watch Athletics
©2018 WATCHATHLETICS.COM. All rights reserved.