On September 16, 2018, the world’s Greatest of All Times, Eliud Kipchoge easily broke Dennis Kimetto’s previous 2:02:57 world record set four years before in Berlin.
With sheer grit, he demolished Kimetto’s world record as his compatriot Amos Kipruto came in second 4 minutes, 44 seconds later.
Tomorrow, Kipchoge - the world’s fastest marathoner is lining up again in Berlin- this time, taking to the start line, a gigantic confidence of rewriting his already extraordinary marathon résumé.
Mid this week, the two-time Olympic champion arrived in Berlin with rare confidence, maintaining that shattering the 12:01:39 world record has been part of the planning.
He is in top shape (physically and mentally), he said in Berlin. After winning his second Olympic title in Tokyo last year, he produced another historic performance, winning the Tokyo Marathon in March.
Kipchoge’s 2022 Berlin Marathon preparations script appears similar to 2018’s, and if everything falls into place, history of the 42km race might be rewritten.
His performance tomorrow, observers say, hinges on to the endurance and mental stamina, as he stares at a challenge likely to be posed by Guye Adola of Ethiopia, who will be in Berlin as the defending champion and a favourable.
Kipchoge and Adola fought a blistering duel in the 2017 edition of Berlin Marathon when the Ethiopian athletes pushed the world record holder to the brink of defeat.
“We are very happy to see these exceptional athletes (Kipchoge and Adola) running at the BMW Berlin-Marathon. Such a duel is always great advertising for running in general. Berliners will be cheering on all participants, whether they are double Olympic champions or marathon novices,” Berlin-Marathon race director Mark Milde said last month.
In 2018, Kipchoge ran negative world record splits as he proved to the world that he was headed for greatness.
On his way to setting the world record, Kipchoge zoomed off the start line with his three pace setters in tow, hitting the first kilometer in a scorching 2:43. By 5k, Kipchoge was already nine seconds ahead of the field when he split 14:24 (which was a 2:01:31 pace), and he crossed the half marathon mark in a surprising 61:06.
Fans will be keenly watching whether Kipchoge, who has stormed to three victories at the Berlin Marathon so far, will launch negative splits on his 2018 world record pace.
For instance, if all goes well, Kipchoge will have to pass the 30km mark 1:26:44 or faster because he crossed the distance in a time of 1:26:45 four years ago.
If he manages to cross the 45km mark in 1:41:00 or faster, then his chances of bettering the 2018 record, and sending a signal that he remains the marathoner to watch.
A faster than 1:55:31 past the 40km, will also mean that Kipchoge’s chances of a world record is higher.
He was on his own for the better part of the second half of the race in 2018 and it remains to be seen whether that script will be rewritten tomorrow.
Interestingly, Kimetto’s Berlin world record survived for four years, and Kipchoge is at the German capital with his sights set on obliterating his own mark, four years later.
Global weather reports indicate that the weather in Berlin tomorrow is favorable, just as it was in 2018, and this is another plus for Kipchoge.
Temperatures, according to www.weather25.com, will be 13° C at 9.15am (German time and noon Kenyan time) before rising about 15° C at noon (Berlin time).
Chances of a rain will be zero percent and a humidity of between 60 percent to 77 percent in expected- weather conditions considered to be perfect for a fast pace. The temperatures were the same in 2018.