BERLIN, Germany — Despite missing out at winning a third Berlin Marathon title on Sunday, long-distance superstar Kenenisa Bekele still has hopes of becoming the greatest over the distance.
The Ethiopian legendary was targeting a fast time in Berlin on Sunday, but the heat and humidity weren’t allowing it, as he fell to a third-place finish behind countryman Guye Adola.
Two years ago in the German capital, Bekele won the men’s title and was only two seconds short of Eliud Kipchoge‘s world record, but ran 2:06:47 this weekend. The veteran runner said after the race that he plans to continue his preparations for his next race as he aims to cover the 42.195 kilometers (26.2 miles) race in under two hours.
“My plan is not only to break the world record before I retire,” revealed Bekele after falling well shine of Kipchoge‘s 2:01:39 world record. “Everybody is talking about sub-two hours, so why not?
“One day I will try this, I know it’s hard work. I feel confident, so let’s do it and see.”
Bekele was delighted to be back to racing again after suffering from COVID-19 at the start of the year and he believes he only needs a good period of time to prepare for another high-quality marathon race.
The 39-year-old who has won gold medals at both the World Championships and Olympics over both 5,000 meters and 10,000m, is already considered as one of the greatest distance runners of all time.
He is the second-fastest marathon runner in history and has a PB of 2:01:41, which he set on his way to winning the title two years ago in Berlin.
“I need some time to prepare, to be honest, I never take a long preparation for the marathon,” said Bekele, who won the 2016 and 2019 Berlin Marathon titles.
“Even two years ago, I prepared for three months. It’s not enough, I have to train for longer.
“If everything goes well, I want to do better things in the future, so I am really confident in my capacity.
“I know my problems, like short preparation because of injury. I want to take more time and see.”