/ Athletics

Gebrselassie looking for good time in Berlin

Updated: Sunday, 20 Sep 2009 17:49

Haile Gebrselassie with the Brandenburg Gate in the background
Haile Gebrselassie with the Brandenburg Gate in the background

Ethiopia's world record holder Haile Gebrselassie will bid for a fourth successive victory in the Berlin Marathon on Sunday.

Gebrselassie returns to the German capital where for the last two years his successes have seen him post world record times and, given the presence of Duncan Kibet, there could be another one in store.

The Kenyan, winner of the Rotterdam Marathon in April with a time of two hours four minutes 27 seconds, is one of only two men to get within half a minute of Gebrselassie's figure of two 2:03.59 he achieved a year ago.

Given both say they are in great shape, another world record could be on the cards although the weather will as ever play a major role in how fast the time will be.

Gebrselassie, 36, said: ‘Warm weather is hard for long-distance runners, last year was perfect.

‘But I don't want to be slower than 61.30 at halfway and would like to run 30k faster than last year.’

His 1.28.25 last year was close to the world record for 30k, and there will be official timekeepers there this year. One advantage for the runners, if the weather is hot, is that the second half of the course is in a lot of shade.

Gebrselassie, although respecting all his rivals, added: ‘This is a marathon, you run against the distance, not the competitors, the distance is the most important. And I can't just think about Duncan Kibet, there are others too.’