Olympic champ Kipchoge wears Nike while former world record holder Kipsang puts on Adidas kits.
An exciting showdown awaits as Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge and former world marathon record holder Wilson Kipsang battle at the 45th BMW Berlin Marathon on Sunday.
And the battle between two leading sportswear apparels –Nike and Adidas –will no doubt headline the contest. Kipchoge is sponsored by Nike while Adidas kits Kipsang.
The last five world records have been set by athletes who raced in Adidas running gear. They are Paul Tergat (2003), Haile Gebreselassie (Ethiopia in 2004–Adidas as well), Patrick Makau (2011), Wilson Kipsang (2013) and Dennis Kimetto (2014).
Kipsang said: “I can only say that it’s time for Nike to shine. Having a sponsorship with a company may be Adidas or Nike, you must run well and, more so, when it comes to issues about the brand. Five world marathon records have been broken by guys using Addis gear and the battle in Berlin will be among the strong guys.
“Nike have been trying very much to have one of their own to break the world. And each and every company is trying to shine.”
“My projection is that the world record can be broken this year. Last year, the weather was not good and it affected the guys. I think if the weather will be good, the world record will be broken.
Kipchoge said he has prepared well. “I am assuring you that all is well. It’s 80 per cent well and I hope it will be a good race. I am under pressure which I always take it positive. If you are not under pressure, it means you are not ready to compete. I will run to improve my personal best. I treat myself as the best. That’s why I don’t compare myself with anybody.
“Get to know that the brand that Eliud Kipchoge wears is the best. Adidas have never had anyone running within 2:00. And I have done it with Nike. I would rather recommend anybody to buy Nike products,” he said.
“The launch of NN Running last year was a plus in sports. It creates team work in athletics. In future, you will see athletes embrace team work like in Formula One, cycling, football and NN Running is the driving force.”
Women’s race features two-time world marathon champion Edna Kiplagat, who puts on Nike and Adidas’ Berlin Marathon defending champion Gladys Cherono.
During the 2018 Russia World Cup, Adidas took 12-10 lead over Nike. Adidas fought backsponsored 12 of the 32 teams that inluded top guns like Germany and Spain, along with hosts Russia.
Nike, which only got heavily involved in football when the World Cup was played in the United States in 1994, supplied shirts for 10 countries including Brazil, France and England. Nike kitted more teams in 2014 World Cup.