Update Post: November 30, 2023 12:43 am
Kipchoge unwound all his rivals in Berlin! No one has won marathons as often
Tatyana Postnikova September 24, 2023, 16:00 Moscow time Audio version: Your browser does not support the audio element.
The Kenyan didn’t beat his time from last year, but he was still great!
Eliud Kipchoge has once again demonstrated his greatness. The Kenyan, after failing in the Boston Marathon, won easily in Berlin. This is already the 38-year-old athlete’s fifth victory in the German capital; no one else has won. Kipchoge is a marathon genius!
Kipchoge, regardless of the outcome of the 2023 Berlin Marathon, was and will remain a big loser. No one can boast such a huge list of achievements. Eliud is a two-time Olympic marathon champion, silver and bronze medalist in the 5000m Games, world champion and silver medalist in the 5000m tournament.
But the most important thing for the whole world and for Kipchoge himself are completely different awards. Eliud has won 12 marathons in the prestigious World Marathon Majors series. No one has defeated a Kenyan more!
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Berlin is a special place for Kipchoge. Eliud has participated in the German capital marathon six times since 2013. It was then that the Kenyan made the only mistake: he came second, losing to his compatriot Wilson Kipsang. After that, Kipchoge was consistently first: in 2015, 2017, 2018, 2022 and now, in 2023.
Eliud holds two of the biggest world records set in the Berlin Marathon. In 2018, the Kenyan ran in 2:01.39, improving Dennis Kimetto’s previous record from 2014 by 1 minute and 18 seconds. In 2022, Kipchoge improved his own result by half a minute: 2:01.09.
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The only thing missing for the Kenyan to achieve total greatness was to become the record holder for victories in the Berlin Marathon. Until this year, Kipchoge had four victories, the same as Haile Gebrselassie, who won every marathon in Germany from 2006 to 2009.
The 2023 Berlin Marathon was of fundamental importance for Kipchoge. Because of him, he missed the 2023 World Cup in Budapest. Eliud also took risks this season. In April he ran the Boston Marathon for the first time in his career and there he took only sixth place, more than three minutes behind the winner Evans Chebet. This was extremely unpleasant for Kipchoge, because he lost for the first time in two years.
Photo: Luciano Lima/Getty Images
“I live for those moments when I can defy limitations,” Kipchoge admitted after the finish. “You are not guaranteed anything, it is never easy.” Today was a hard day for me. “I did my best, but sometimes we have to admit that today is not the day to raise the bar higher.”
Kipchoge ran the marathon in less than two hours, but the record was not counted:
Eliud Kipchoge. Why is he a legend, even if his record doesn’t count?
In Berlin everything went well. Kipchoge did everything right and claimed a record fifth title. Eliud, as expected, was among the leaders throughout the race, never dropping below second place. He ran up to 30 km with Ethiopian Kindi Derse, but then his opponent couldn’t stand it and withdrew from the marathon. At that moment, the Kenyan even smiled slightly, as slow-motion replays showed. He can afford to be happy about his competitor’s rally.
Kipchoge walked the rest of the distance almost in splendid isolation. Of course, other athletes tried to catch up with him: his compatriots Vincent Kipkemoi and Ronald Korir, as well as the Ethiopian Tadese Takele. But the 30-second difference still persisted.
Unfortunately, Kipchoge finished without a new record: 02:02.40. This is the fourth result in the history of the Berlin Marathon. Kipkemoy was second with a delay of 31 seconds and Takele was third (+42 seconds). Although Eliud could not beat his own record, he once again confirmed his coolness, genius and greatness, because at 38 years old not everyone can defeat his opponents like that.