He admitted to feeling ‘nervous’, yet this confession was tinged with an indescribable confidence.
Similarly, the same unspoken confidence reappared prior to last year’s race, where he surpassed his own world record by 30 seconds, finishing in an astonishing time of 2:01:09.
As he stood before the media on Friday (22 September) in the German capital, Kipchoge refrained from discussing his race strategy. The marathon king rarely does. Nevertheless, there was a palpable yearning to achieve another first in his illustrious marathon career.
“I am nervous,” the Olympic champion confessed. “But the nervousness shows I am ready for the big task on Sunday….”
However, Kipchoge remains acutely aware that in sports, ‘you are only ever as good as your last race’.
Following a performance in Boston last April that was less than convincing, Kipchoge is eager to demonstrate his prowess on a course he knows all too well. This race holds particular significance as he gears up for Paris 2024, where he seeks an unprecedented third Olympic Marathon gold.
During Friday’s press conference, the Kenyan legend tactfully evaded discussions about his race strategy, opting instead to promise “a beautiful race because the weather will be good.”
The race is anticipated to take place under optimal circumstances, with minimal wind and a pleasant 11-degree Celsius temperature (51.8 F).
In 2022, the 38-year-old crossed the halfway point in an astonishing 59:51, marking the fastest split in marathon history.
Will the 21km split face a challenge again this year in Berlin? Kipchoge responded with a radiant smile: “Who knows what will happen during the race.”
Then he added: “2023 is a different game all together. We are approaching it in a different way, but when you are in the race, anything might happen. We follow what’s in our hands.”