It's On: Dream Team Of Kipchoge, Bekele, Kipsang Set To Battle In Berlin

Mark your calendars: three of history's top four marathoners in Eliud Kipchoge, Kenenisa Bekele, and Wilson Kipsang will clash in Berlin this Sunday, September 24th, in a scenario where breaking the 2:02:57 course and world record seems all but a certainty.

WATCH THE 2017 BERLIN MARATHON LIVE ON FLOTRACK

The race will be Kipchoge's first test on the roads since his 2:00:25 'lab run' sponsored by Nike on the Monza circuit in Italy, while Bekele and Kipsang are both coming off career best marathons in Berlin one year ago, setting the No. 2 and No. 5 legal times in history. With its tradition of great weather and excellent pacers combined with the fastest course of all the World Marathon Majors -- with fewer turns than the Breaking2 attempt -- the stars have never been more aligned for someone to break Dennis Kimetto's 2:02:57 official world record mark.

What makes the three headliners of the Berlin field so special is not their raw talent -- though all three certainly have that, with Bekele being the current track 5K and 10K world record-holder -- but the fact that they perform their best when competing against each other. The trio has only ever raced over the marathon distance once before in history -- at the 2016 London Marathon -- and that race yielded a 2:03:05 course record that was, at the time, the second-fastest legal marathon in history, just 8 seconds behind the world record clocking set at Berlin in 2014. Any marathon pundit would tell you that the flat roads of Berlin are more than eight seconds faster than the twisty London course, and this September those pundits will have their chance to be proven right.

Despite his 2:00:25 time in the Nike test run, pre-race favorite Kipchoge has never been hungrier to break the official world record to go along with his asterisked mark.

Kipchoge said of the race, "In Monza I was so close to breaking the two-hour barrier. The BMW Berlin Marathon represents for me the right opportunity to attack the official world record."

The last time Bekele and Kipsang dueled on the roads was at last year's edition of Berlin, where Bekele famously resurrected his career with a blazing last 10K to run the second-fastest time in history. But Bekele could not have done it without Kipsang pushing him the entire latter half of the race, in what many dubbed the greatest marathon duel of all time. Kipsang surely could not walk away disappointed with his 2:03:13 PB in second place, and both athletes will be looking to improve those all-time marks at the 2017 edition of the race.

TOP TEN FASTEST BERLIN TIMES IN HISTORY:
1. 2:02:57, Dennis Kimetto, 2014
2. 2:03:03, Kenenisa Bekele, 2016
T3. 2:03:13, Emmanuel Mutai, 2014
T3. 2:03:13, Wilson Kipsang, 2016
5. 2:03:23, Wilson Kipsang, 2013
6. 2:03:38, Patrick Makau, 2011
7. 2:03:59, Haile Gebrselassie, 2008
8. 2:04:00, Eliud Kipchoge, 2015
9. 2:04:05, Eliud Kipchoge, 2013
10. 2:04:15, Geoffrey Mutai, 2012

How to Watch

On TV: Available on Roku and Apple TV 4 -- download the FloSports app now.
Streaming: Only on FloTrack with a PRO subscription. A yearly PRO subscription provides access to ALL FloSports sites. JOIN NOW 

Get all the hype!

Sign up for the FloTrack newsletter for instant access to: Breaking News, Results, Rankings, Archived Race Footage, Live Broadcasts and more!

U20s Day 6 Recap: Tia Jones Wraps Up U20s With Gold

Earning her second international gold in two seasons and her first IAAF World U20 Championship, Walton High School (GA) junior Tia Jones closed 2018 with quite the performance with a win in the 100 meter hurdles on Sunday in Tampere, Finland. 

Breaking Down The Final Day Of The AAU Club Championships

The final day of the AAU Club National Championships on Saturday was full of record-breaking and elite performances. 

U20s Day 5 Recap: Team USA Finally Lands Gold

The IAAF World U20 Championships have, at times, been a frustrating experience for Team USA.

Day 6 Semifinal Results Promise Epic Ending For AAU Club Nationals

2018 AAU Club Nationals Highlight: 9yo Destyni Devine Breaks Club 200m Record

The sixth day of competition at the AAU Club Championships on Friday was brimming with promising semifinal performances, which bodes well for the final day of competition.

Matthew Centrowitz Joins UW As Volunteer Coach

UW Press Release

Miami Gardens Xpress Has Become An AAU Dynasty

2018 AAU Club Nationals Highlight: 13yo Cha'iel Johnson Breaks 800m Record

It’s tempting to focus solely on the incredible individual performances of superstar athletes such as Tyrese Cooper and Cha’iel Johnson at this week’s AAU National Club Championships, as they have been dominating their competition and producing one stellar result after another. 

Coleman Returns To Top Of The Men's 100m; Rabat DL Recap

There were plenty of reasons to doubt Christian Coleman entering Friday’s Rabat Diamond League 100m. This was his first race in six weeks--the missed meets attributed to a hamstring issue that turned him from unbeatable in the winter to mortal in the spring.

U20s Day 4 Recap: Americans Lead Medal Count

While Team USA continues to struggle picking up gold at the World U20 Championships in Tampere, Finland, the Americans have proven one thing.

PattiSue Plumer Named Texas Women's Distance Coach

The University of Texas has tabbed PattiSue Plumer to head up the women’s distance program. 

Cha'iel Johnson Takes Down Record No. 2 At AAU Club Nationals

Cha'iel Johnson Runs From Her Heart

After watching two records go down, the premiere event of day five at the AAU National Club Championships was the 400m, but the best is yet to come as finals haven't even kicked off yet.