Bekele sets 02:01:30 marathon career target
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[January 18, 2017]
By Alexander Cornwell
DUBAI (Reuters) - Triple Olympic track
champion Kenenisa Bekele, the second-fastest marathon runner in
history, said on Wednesday he can shave around 90 seconds off the
current world record over the classic 26.2 mile distance before he
Ethiopian Bekele, widely regarded as the greatest distance runner of
all time and world record holder over 10,000 and 5,000 metres, is
making an attempt at the world record this Friday at the Dubai
He ran two hours, three minutes and three seconds when winning
Berlin last September, six seconds outside Dennis Kimetto's world
record of 2:02:57 set on the same course in 2014.
The 34-year-old, who said he is eyeing "just the world record" this
week, told reporters he believes he can run "around 2:01:30" before
The last time Bekele competed in the Dubai Marathon was in 2015 when
an injury forced him to pull out mid-race.
"I am fully confident. My preparation is going well. I am healthy
enough," he said on the sidelines of a press conference ahead of
Friday's race. He said he expects a better time than in Berlin.
To run 2:01:30 Bekele said he would need to change his training
"The way you prepare yourself is very different. You need nutrition
groups and facilities have to be perfect," he said, adding that he
had not changed his preparations since Berlin.
Dubai is offering a bonus 250,000 dollars to any runner who can
break the world record this week on top of the 200,000 dollar first
place prize money.
[to top of second column]
Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia celebrates winning the men's competition
at the Berlin marathon in Berlin, Germany, September 25, 2016.
Bekele, who is also due to run the London Marathon in April, the
Ethiopian told reporters he would put his hand up for selection for
the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 if he was fit.
Bekele was left out of the Ethiopian team for last year's Rio Games.
(Reporting by Alexander Cornwell, editing by Mitch Phillips)
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