Kenenisa Bekele, the Ethiopian distance great, will go in search of his third BMW Berlin Marathon victory when he returns to the World Athletics Platinum Elite Label road race on September 26, Organisers confirmed this weekend.
The multiple world and Olympic champion first won in Berlin in 2016, setting what was then an Ethiopian record of 2:03:03. He returned in 2019 and won in 2:01:41, reclaiming the Ethiopian record and coming within two seconds of Eliud Kipchoge’s world record.
Bekele has raced just once since then, winning at the Big Half in London in 1:00:22 last year. But despite his recent relative lack of racing, he is confident of producing another memorable run in Berlin.
“I’ll head back to the BMW Berlin Marathon with good energy and motivation,” said Bekele, who won the 2009 world 5000m and 10,000m titles in the German capital. “My last race in Berlin motivated me a lot, so I hope I will fulfil my plan this year.”
Bekele was due to battle with Eliud Kipchoge at the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon but withdrew from the race because of injury shortly before the race.
After missing out on competing at the recently concluded Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Bekele will return to Berlin fresh so we should expect something fast.
The 39-year-old won the 5000m at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games and then defended that title in Beijing in 2008, as well as adding the 10,000m gold medal to his name.
Bekele also has 16 world titles.