(Missouri Runner and Triathlete)―The former world record holder Wilson Kipsang versus the fastest man ever at 5 and 10,000m, Kenenisa Bekele – that is the grand showdown for the 43rd edition of the BMW Berlin Marathon on Sunday. Kipsang of Kenya arrives in town having broken the world record here with 2:03:23 in 2013.

Ethiopia’s superstar Bekele has won three Olympic long distance titles and is one of the best runners of all time. Alongside this pair are seven other athletes who have run 2:06 or faster.

Maintaining Berlin’s traditional popularity among both elite and mass runners, 41,283 runners from 122 countries have entered the 43rd edition of the race which begins at 0915 on the avenue of June 17. The BMW Berlin Marathon is part of the Abbott World Marathon Majors and an IAAF Gold Label Race, the highest category of road race awarded by the world governing body of athletics.

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“I’ve trained well and, three years down the line from my world record here, I feel good and believe I have the potential to attempt the world record once more. Running at the top level, there is a lot of wear and tear on the body, especially when you are running for a time, but I am very focused on the world record,” said Wilson Kipsang, who will be making his second appearance in the BMW Berlin Marathon. „My race here in 2013 has been the best of my career, of course and I have great memories of it.“ Kipsang went on to have an outstanding 2014, winning first in London and then New York, but is without a marathon win since.

Kenenisa Bekele is, in the opinion of many, the best track and cross country runner of all time. He has won three Olympic titles and five World Championships’ golds and is the world record holder over 5 and 10,000m, set 12 and 11 years ago respectively. But in the marathon Bekele has still to fulfill his potential. He won in Paris on his debut at the distance in 2014, setting a course record of 2:05:04 yet has been unable to improve on that time, suffering lengthy periods of injury with achilles tendon problems. “Since finishing third in London in April after being injured for so long, I have been training well, better than before. I consider my personal best of 2:05 to be slow compared to the best runners. I want to run as fast as I can on Sunday and beat my best,” said Kenenisa Bekele.

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