Kenenisa Bekele produced a sensational comeback win in the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON, missing the world record by just two seconds with 2:01:41. The 37 year-old Ethiopian became the second fastest runner of all time, producing a world lead and a national record in a phenomenal performance. Back in 2016 Kenenisa Bekele had missed the world record by six seconds when he clocked 2:03:03 in his first Berlin triumph, this time he missed the mark of Eliud Kipchoge, who ran 2:01:39 here in 2018, by two seconds.
Behind Kenenisa Bekele his fellow-Ethiopian Birhanu Legese took second place with 2:02:48, making him the third fastest marathon runner ever. Sisay Lemma completed the Ethiopian triumph in Berlin with a world-class personal best of 2:03:36. „I knew that I was in top shape. But I also know that I can run even faster,“ said Kenenisa Bekele, the three-time Olympic long distance champion and world record holder at 5,000 and 10,000 m.
In fine weather conditions Ashete Bekere took the women’s race in 2:20:14 from fellow-Ethiopian Mare Dibaba (2:20:21) and Kenya’s Sally Chepyego, who clocked 2:21:06. Germany’s Melat Kejeta produced a very good marathon debut with 2:23:57 in sixth place. She became the second fastest German behind Irina Mikitenko (2:19:19). In contrast defending champion Gladys Cherono of Kenya dropped out at around 30k.
A record number of 46,983 runners from 150 countries entered the 46th BMW BERLIN-MARATHON
1. Kenenisa Bekele (ETH) 2:01:41
2. Birhanu Legese (ETH) 2:02:48
3. Sisay Lemma (ETH) 2:03:36
1. Ashete Bekere (ETH) 2:20:14
2. Mare Dibaba (ETH) 2:20:21
3. Sally Chepyego (KEN) 2:21:06