11 September 2018, 2pm
Sun 16 September 2018
The great Kenyan duo have met on two previous occasions here with the match score currently tied at 1–1. Eliud Kipchoge as last year’s winner is expected to be attacking his personal best of 2:03:05 which would mean running at world record tempo, given that Kipchoge’s best is only eight seconds slower than the current world record. This was set four years ago in Berlin by his fellow Kenyan Dennis Kimetto with his time of 2:02:57. Wilson Kipsang broke the previous world record to win the 2013 Berlin title with 2:03:23, beating Eliud Kipchoge into the bargain.
Tirunesh Dibaba, arguably the greatest female distance runner in history, will be making her debut at the BMW Berlin Marathon. The key factor in her choice of race venue is Berlin’s well proven ability to offer a platform for super-fast performances.
If conditions are favourable, the Ethiopian might well attack the world record, set by Britain’s Paula Radcliffe in 2002 with 2:15:25 in London. Dibaba is Ethiopia’s national record holder with 2:17:56 which is a big margin to make up, yet she has the pedigree of three Olympic golds in long distance track events to make any challenge credible.
Last year’s women’s champion Gladys Cherono and her fellow Kenyan, the double World Marathon champion Edna Kiplagat, are likely to be Dibaba’s most dangerous rivals.