NYC Marathon: Kenenisa Bekele ready to ‘make more history’ as the New York City Marathon returns

Bekele, a three-time Olympic gold medalist over 5,000 and 10,000 meters, is the headline identify competing within the males’s elite area in New York.

Together with his solely earlier marathon in the US a fourth-place end in Chicago seven years in the past, the Ethiopian is hungry for achievement as he prepares to take to the streets of the Massive Apple.

“Actually, I wished to have a superb outcome within the USA, that is why I selected the New York marathon,” Bekele informed reporters this week.

“The New York marathon is massive publicity and a extremely massive marathon race. To attain a superb outcome on this marathon can be excellent, and for me, it is also actually good to make extra historical past in sports activities.”

Bekele has some extent to show after a disappointing outing six weeks in the past on the Berlin Marathon — the race at which he got here inside two seconds of Eliud Kipchoge’s world record time two years in the past.
Bekele catches his breath after this year's Berlin Marathon.

Regardless of expectations that he may problem Kipchoge’s report of two hours, one minute and 39 seconds in Berlin this 12 months, Bekele says he fell foul to a poor evening’s sleep as he completed third, greater than a minute behind winner Guye Adola.

“I used to be not prepared for that race,” Bekele defined. “A couple of weeks earlier than the race, I used to be not likely assured. It is just a little bit robust for me as a result of the day earlier than additionally I could not sleep properly, I actually had dangerous luck the day earlier than within the evening. That additionally made me very drained.

“I’ve recovered properly … At this second, I am actually robust. I hope I will obtain a superb outcome on Sunday.”

For race organizers, who known as off final 12 months’s New York Metropolis Marathon amid the pandemic, it’s a boon to have a determine like Bekele on the beginning line on Sunday.

On high of his three Olympic gold medals — together with a double within the 5,000 and 10,000 meters at Beijing 2008 — and one silver medal, he additionally claimed 5 world athletics championship titles between 2003 to 2009.

Bekele’s 5,000m world report stood for 16 years earlier than it was damaged by Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei final 12 months, whereas his 10,000m report stood for 15 earlier than additionally being damaged final 12 months by Cheptegei.

Eliud Kipchoge: Marathon world record holder has 'the qualities of an ascetic monk'
Many contemplate Bekele to be the best male distance runner of all time, such has been his supremacy throughout a number of distances over the previous twenty years; others point towards Kenya’s Kipchoge, who has been so dominant over the 26.2 miles of a marathon and is the primary man to break the distance’s two-hour barrier, albeit in unofficial circumstances.
“I nonetheless really feel that I’m the very best and higher than anybody,” Bekele told Sports Illustrated in August after it was introduced that he would make his debut in New York. “I feel each athlete and others ought to assume like that.”

Having struggled with accidents and kind in recent times, Bekele now has a second alternative to win a serious marathon within the US.

There may be little likelihood that he’ll have the ability to come near his finest marathon time in New York; in contrast to Berlin, the course, which undulates via the town’s 5 boroughs, hardly ever produces quick performances.

“I do know the course is hard and there are additionally no pacemakers within the race. It is extra about focus and a tactical race,” stated Bekele.

He will probably be up towards the Netherlands’ Adbi Nageeye, who gained the silver medal on the Olympics in Sapporo three months in the past, and the half marathon world report holder Kibiwott Kandie of Kenya, who’s making his marathon debut.

The ladies’s race is headlined by Kenya’s Peres Jepchirchir, the gold medalist on the Olympics. She will probably be joined by the USA’s Olympic bronze medalist Molly Seidel.

Seidel poses with her bronze medal from the Tokyo Olympics.

One other athlete to regulate is US star Shalane Flanagan as she makes an attempt to run six marathons in 42 days. Having already accomplished marathons in Berlin, London, Chicago, Boston and Portland — all between instances of two:35:14 and a pair of:46:39 — Flanagan will goal to finish her problem in New York.

And as for Bekele, like so many different runners who will take to the beginning line on Sunday, he is grateful to have the ability to race in New York following the pandemic and final 12 months’s cancellation.

“To see the individuals of New York take part on this race once more — to see this for me is unbelievable,” he stated. “I wish to want all members good luck.”

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