When Eliud Kipchoge set a new world marathon record of two hours, one minute and 39 seconds in last year's Berlin Marathon, many thought it would stand for years.
But, one year later, the stunning performance of 37-year-old Kenenisa Bekele at the same marathon in the German city where the Ethiopian finished just two seconds off Kipchoge’s record, has got the athletics world talking.
Kipchoge opted to skip this year's race since he will be seeking to be the first man to run the marathon under two hours on October 12 in Vienna, Austria in a project dubbed "Ineos 1:59 Challenge".
Here is how fans in social media reacted to Bekele’s performance.
Kiprotich Nixon plainly begged Kipchoge to return to Berlin in 2020 ‘to set the record straight.’
David Tlhabano, “Incredible marathon. Something about the Berlin course for smashing the records. I think sub-2 hour will come from this race one day.”
Kibret Abebe, “Kipchoge’s record will be broken soon... But Kenenisa 10,000 metres and 5,000 metres will not be broken in his life time at least. It has been 15 years and no one is close to take it.”
Richard O'Sullivan, “(I) bet Kipchoge was sweating profusely (when Bekele was closing in on his world record).”
Silah Kiplagat, “Eliud Kipchoge should be a worried man, the record was about to be smashed in just one year. Bekele ran a good race.”
Kiprotich Nixon said, “Kipchoge, Kipchoge, Kipchoge… Come and run 2:00 next time because your record is under threat.”
Danny Loke has opened a debate on who is the greatest between Kipchoge and Bekele by saying this about the Ethiopian’s performance, “Awesome.... breath-taking! He is still the greatest!”
Nico Lee Christmas believes Kipchoge still has enough firepower to register another world record over the 42-kilometre distance. “I don’t think (he was sweating), because he would break it next year…”
Kipchoge ran at an average of just under 20.9 kilometres per hour on his feet to finish the 42.1 kilometres distance in 2:01:39 last year.
Bekele and Kipchoge clashed severally in 5,000 metres between 2004 and 2009, and although, the Kenyan predicted Geoffrey Kamworor will be the man to break his marathon world record, the Ethiopian signalled his intentions in Berlin on Sunday.
Kamworor broke the half marathon world record two weeks ago by finishing the 2019 Copenhagen Half Marathon in 58:01 minutes.