NAIROBI, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- Four years ago, Kenya's Wilson Kipsang was under pressure to win the Berlin marathon on his debut, but he believes that will no longer be his concern as he takes on Olympic Champion Eliud Kipchoge on Sept 24.
Kipsang, worked hard in the 2013 event in Berlin to clock 2:03.23 bringing the world record down by taking 15 seconds off the time set on the same course by his compatriot Patrick Makau (2:03:38).
But that record didn't last long in Kipsang's possession. A year later (2014), yet another Kenyan, Dennis Kimetto, became the first man to break 2:03:00 mark for the marathon when he stopped the clock at 2:02:57.
It is this mark that will be up to be shattered when Kipsang, Kipchoge and Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele face off on Sept 24.
"I'm better placed than anyone else to break the world record. I have done it before and believe I am able to do it again," Kipsang said on Friday from Iten.
The secret to his strong performance is down to training and Kipsang believes he is hungrier to prove his worth in his third show in the German capital.
Watching them train and put in the hard work and miles will make you appreciate the meaning of the phrase "train hard, win easy."
In the women's race, there will be plenty of anticipation with six runners on the start list have already broken the two hours and 24 minutes mark.
Four of them are Ethiopians and two are from Kenya. Leading this elite field, at least in terms of personal bests, is the Kenyan Gladys Cherono, winner in the 2015 with her lifetime best of 2:19:25. She
Cherono was absent last year as she struggled with injury, but she has been able to shake it off and will have keen competition in the shape of her rivals who include defending champion Aberu Kebede, a triple Berlin winner (2010, 2012, 2016), and her Ethiopian compatriots Amane Beriso, runner-up in Dubai 2016, Gulume Tollesa, the 2015 Frankfurt winner, and Meseret Mengistu, the 2015 Paris champion.
Another contender to be reckoned with is the Prague champion this year, Valary Aiyabei of Kenya, with a best of 2:21:57. Every one of them has shown they have the ability to win marathons on the big stage.