Ethiopian running legend Kenenisa Bekele won the Berlin Marathon in 2:01:41 hours on Sunday, just two seconds shy of the world record. The 37 years old runner was recognized as having the second-fastest time ever for a marathon run.
Kenyan runner Eliud Kipchoge holds the world record at 2:01:39 hours. Kipcheoge did not participate in this race because of his preparation to break the two-hour marathon mark in Vienna on October 12.
At the start of the race, Kenenisa Bekele was among the runners who were lagging behind including fellow Ethiopian runners Birhanu Legesse and Sisay Lemma. However, as the race dragged on kenenisa’s speed started to pick up and by the 30 km mark, he had outstripped many other runners including his own countrymen.
He later told reporters that the reason he had lagged at the beginning was that had he had felt some pain at the start of the race but after a little while he relaxed and started to push himself. “I am very sorry that I was not lucky. I am thrilled about running my personal best. But I still can do this [world record]. I don’t give up. It is encouraging for the future.” the legend said.
Kenenisa Bekele is the current world and Olympic record holder for both 5000 m and 10,000 m races. He is a three times Olympic and five times world championship gold medalist. Matching Haile Gebrselassie, he won four consecutive 10,000-meters titles in the World Championships from 2003 to 2009.
In 2009 he became the first athlete to win both 5000 m and 10000 m titles on a single championship. Kenenisa Bekele was unbeaten over 10000 m title from 2003 until 2011 when he failed to finish World championship final in Daegu, South Korea. Besides that, he is considered as the most successful runner in the history of IAAF World Cross Country Championships winning 11 gold medals in both short and long-distance cross-country races.
Kenenisa Bekele had suffered a series of injuries in recent years and had not finished a marathon since April of last year. Many had started to believe that “The time of the king was over” but his victory at the Berlin Marathon has shown that there is still fight in this “King”.