Athletics Brilliant Bekele beats Kipsang in Berlin, nears WR

There was almost another world record time at the Berlin Marathon as the magnificent Kenenisa Bekele won his duel with Wilson Kipsang.

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Kenenisa Bekele ran the second-fastest time in history to edge out 2013 champion Wilson Kipsang and claim a stunning victory in the men's race at the Berlin Marathon.

Already a world record holder on the track over 5000 and 10,000 metres, Bekele came within six seconds of Dennis Kimetto's landmark marathon time - set in this race in 2014 - as he crossed the line in two hours, three minutes and three seconds.

The Ethiopian's sensational display ensured Kipsang had to settle for second, despite shaving 10 seconds off his winning time of 2:03:23 three years ago, which represented a world record at the time.

Berlin has frequently played host to fast times over the years and Kipsang had stated his determination to reclaim the world record prior to Sunday's race.

However, it was Bekele - hampered by injury since his switch to the road in 2014 - who ultimately prevailed, the 34-year-old replacing the great Haile Gebrselassie as Ethiopia's fastest marathon runner in the process.

A blistering pace was set in the early stages of the race, while Bekele and Kipsang were among seven runners - together with Geoffrey Ronoh, Sisay Lemma, Alfers Lagat, Jacob Kendagor and Evans Chebet - in the leading group at halfway.

Kipsang was the first to make a significant move and opened up a lead on three occasions, only to be reeled in by Bekele on each occasion.

And it was the latter who finished the stronger to triumph by 10 seconds.

Aberu Kebede claimed her third victory in the women's race in dominant fashion, leading home an Ethiopian 1-2-3.

Kebede's winning time of 2:20:45 saw her finish more than three minutes clear of Birhane Dibaba (2:23:58) as Ruti Aga (2:24:41) took third.

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