Ahead of Sunday’s Berlin Marathon, Wilson Kipsang reiterates his determination to add his name to the record books
Wilson Kipsang insists breaking the marathon world record in Berlin on Sunday is possible.
The Kenyan believes that, so long as he can work as part of a team with pacemakers and other members of the field, the current world best mark of 2:03:38 set by his countryman Patrick Makau in the German capital two years ago will be history.
“Right from the start, I’ve prepared to run very well here,” he told BMW Berlin Marathon event organisers. “It’s in my mind to run the world record.
“Having run 2:03:42, I know it’s possible,” continued the 31-year-old, who was just four seconds off Makau’s mark when he won the Frankfurt Marathon two years ago. “I’ve trained to my very best, and if everything goes well with the pacemakers and my colleagues, I think we can do it. It’s a team effort, like in training, even more in a race. The more you have a strong group, the more easy it is.”
Kipsang will have to see off strong competition from the likes of fellow Kenyans 2003 world 5000m champion Eliud Kipchoge, who ran 2:05:30 on his debut over 26.2 miles in Hamburg back in April, and 2011 world junior cross country champion Geoffrey Kipsang (no relation) if he is to win, while attempting to set what would be the ninth marathon world record set at this event in the process.
The women’s race is also set to be hugely competitive, with Florence Kiplagat and Irina Mikitenko, both former winners in Berlin, lining up alongside the winner of last year’s Boston Marathon, Sharon Cherop, to run a course described as ”flat and forgiving” by America’s 2011 Boston runner-up Desiree Davila who will make her return from injury on Sunday.
“I think I can run in the 2:19s, but not a minute faster than my best,” commented Kiplagat in a pre-event press conference. “I know I’m in good shape, but so is everyone else,” added the 2011 Berlin winner.
Cherop, on the other hand, believes a personal best is possible, but only time will tell if that is enough to see her victorious on her Berlin debut. “It’s my first time here, and I gather it’s a really fast course,” she said. “I’ve run 2:22 three times, and I think I’m going to improve that here. I’m going to run my fastest time.”
» Coverage of the Berlin Marathon will be aired on Eurosport 2 at 7.45am and 9.30pm on Sunday September 29