Published On: Sun, Sep 25th, 2016

Curtain Falls on 2016 BMW Berlin-Marathon


In all the marathons I have covered since 2005, the 2016 Berlin marathon goes down as one of the most predictably unpredictable! (writes topi Lyambila in Berlin) It was dubbed a 2-horse race,  “there’s a keen anticipation for a duel between Wilson Kipsang of Kenya and Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele; both reputable athletes with enviable backgrounds.

Kipsang coming back as the man who broke the World record in 2003, while Bekele was walking in with the tag of; ‘one of the best runners of all time’, having won three Olympic long distance titles.

This was one event that had the makings of a world record, but was let down by the poor class of pacesetters who vanished at 25 kilometres leaving the top runners to second-guess each other and thus ruin the pace.

Despite this, the winner Kenenisa was just 5 seconds off the world mark, citing hamstring trouble at 30 kilometres.  Kipsang on his part had to do most of the work after the last of the designated pacesetters dropped off at 26 kilometres.

What followed after the last pacesetter disappeared is a race that none of the two, (winner Bekele and second Kipsang) will ever forget.  And for those who watched the race on TV this brings back memories of the lone battle between Kenya’s Chelimo and Morocco’s Khalid Skah  (circa1991-92) in the 10km run.

Emmanuel Mutai the fastest man at the distance finished 12th, literary limping across the finish line.  Evans Chebet was 3rd followed home by another Ethiopian  Sisay lemma in 4th place.

It was Ethiopia’s day with Aberu Kebede taking the women’s title followed home by fellow countrywomen and pre-event favourite Birhane Dibaba, and Ruti Aga completing the clean sweep in third place.  Kenya’s only rated female runner Janet Ronoh finished in 6th position behind German Katharina Heinig.

Speaking at the press conference Kipsang confided, he is still plotting for the world record after bring down his all time best by point 10 of a second.  He is hopeful that with the recent developments in Kenya’s Athletics after RIO, the country will enjoy better results with the departure of the ‘wazees’ at both NOCK and AK, to pave way for better leadership.

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Curtain Falls on 2016 BMW Berlin-Marathon
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