Bekele reveals plan to run marathon in under two hours

Berlin (AFP) –


Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele said Sunday he plans not only to break the men's marathon world record, but also to emulate Eliud Kipchoge by covering the distance in under two hours.

"My plan is not only to break the world record before I retire. Everybody is talking about sub-two hours, so why not?," said Bekele, 39, after finishing third at Sunday's Berlin Marathon.

"One day I will try this, I know it's hard work. I feel confident, so let's do it and see."

Bekele, who suffered with Covid-19 at the start of the year, is one of the greatest distance runners of all time, having won world and Olympic gold medals over both 5,000 metres and 10,000m.

He fell short Sunday in his bid to break Kipchoge's world marathon record, but plans to become only the second person to run 42.195 kilometres (26.2 miles) in under two hours.

Kenya's Kipchoge, 36, won the men's marathon Olympic title in Tokyo having made history by dipping under the mythical two-hour mark when he ran 1hr 59min 40.2sec in a Vienna experiment-run in non-competitive conditions two years ago.

That time is never likely to be ratified but Kipchoge also already holds the official world record having clocked 2:01:39 at the 2018 Berlin Marathon.

Bekele was two seconds short of Kipchoge's time when he won in Berlin two years ago and plans to perfect his preparations.

"I need some time to prepare, to be honest, I never take a long preparation for the marathon," said Bekele, a two-time former winner of the Berlin Marathon.

"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."