Three of the five fastest ever marathoners will now race on the streets of Berlin as Kenenisa Bekele is added to the field

The BMW Berlin Marathon on September 24 is set to feature three of the five fastest ever marathon runners, with Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele having been added to the field along with Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge and Wilson Kipsang.

Dennis Kimetto’s world record of 2:02:57 was set at the event in 2014 and further fast times are in store for this year’s edition, with Kipchoge having voiced his intention to try and improve that mark.

The Olympic champion ran the quickest ever marathon when he clocked 2:00:25 during Nike’s Breaking2 attempt in Monza in May, but that time doesn’t count for record purposes.

“In Monza I was so close to breaking the two-hour barrier,” said Kipchoge, who has run a ratified 2:03:05 to sit third behind Bekele with 2:03:03 on the world all-time list.

“The BMW Berlin Marathon represents for me the right opportunity to attack the official world record.”

Since his marathon debut in Paris in 2014 when he ran 2:05:04, Bekele improved to his 2:03:03 when winning the Berlin Marathon last year ahead of former world record-holder Kipsang, who beat his previous world record time with 2:03:13 but still had to settle for second.

“It’s a dream match-up,” said Berlin race director Mark Milde of this year’s field.

“It’s not often that the three strongest marathon men in the world race each other.

“As organisers we are crossing our fingers for good weather and thrilling competition.”