Daniel Kibet (left), coach of Ikaika Sports in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County, talks to athletes after training on September 8, 2023.

| Jared Nyataya | Nation Media Group

Coach Ng’etich confident his charges will shine in Berlin

What you need to know:

  • Some of the athletes tasked to pace the elites in the German capital include Bernard Kibet, Bethwell Kipkemboi, Stanley Rono and Simon Kipkosgei.
  • The elites from the Ikaika stable are Ronald Korir, Justus Kangogo, Abel Kipchumba, Philemon Kiplimo, Silas Sugut and Dominic Nyairo.

Since Nation Sport started the countdown towards the September 24 Berlin Marathon, some of the 10 athletes from Iten-based Ikaika Sports management company have featured prominently.

Some of the athletes tasked to pace the elites in the German capital include Bernard Kibet, Bethwell Kipkemboi, Stanley Rono and Simon Kipkosgei.
The elites from the Ikaika stable are Ronald Korir, Justus Kangogo, Abel Kipchumba, Philemon Kiplimo, Silas Sugut and Dominic Nyairo.

And as they prepare for the big day, one of the men behind the scenes is athlete-turned-coach coach Daniel Kibet Ng'etich.

In an interview with Nation Sport, Ng’etich displays his true passion, and believes athletics is in his blood having initially started off as a massage therapist, working closely with athletes to help them recover and perform their best.

He said that preparations for the Berlin Marathon with their substantial team has been both a challenge and a source of tremendous satisfaction and believes these crop of athletes will make them proud.

“As a coach, meticulous planning is at the core of our preparations, typically spanning three to four months, tailored to each athlete's unique requirements. We started with loading before heading to the pre-competition period and now the competition period which we are winding up before they travel to the race,” he explains the drill.

“Our athletes form a close-knit group that trains together daily. This shared experience fosters a spirit of mutual support and solidarity, which is invaluable in our journey towards the marathon.”

One of the critical factors contributing to their preparations has been the unwavering support from the management who have provided them with all the necessary resources, ensuring that they have everything needed to optimize training and performance.

“Together with our sponsors Adidas, and with the backing of our management, we have been able to orchestrate a comprehensive and effective training programme, setting the stage for our athletes to shine at the Berlin Marathon and we believe they will deliver,” he added.

Ng’etich’s background in coaching is rooted in his deep passion for athletics having started as an athlete who specialised in the 400 metres.

“As I worked closely with athletes, I realised that my desire to give back and lead them in the right direction was strong. This led me to transition into coaching. I officially started my coaching career several years ago when I recognised the potential for athletes to achieve greatness and wanted to play a more direct role in nurturing that potential.

“My coaching journey has been truly amazing. I've had the privilege of working alongside a supportive management team called Ikaika Sports and an outstanding group of athletes who have performed exceptionally well on the global stage,” he said.  

One of the most rewarding aspects of coaching has been the opportunity to travel the world, visit new places, and continuously learn from the people he meets.

Experiencing different cultures and approaches to athletics has enriched his understanding of the sport and allowed him to bring valuable insights back to their training programmes.

Some of the athletes who have gone through his hands include the newly-crowned world record holder in the 10-kilometre road race Agnes Jebet Ngetich, Gifu Half Marathon champion Amos Kurgat, Weldon Langat the Brasov Road Running 10km champion, Betwell Yegon who was second in Berlin Marathon in 2021, among others.

Agnes Jebet Ngetich, the women’s-only 10kilometres world record holder, during her home coming ceremony at Eldoret International Airport in Uasin Gishu County on September 14, 2023.

Facts about Germany:

45,000 entries for 2023 Berlin Marathon

Over 45,000 athletes from more than 150 nations will be heading to Berlin next week to take part in the 2023 BMW Berlin Marathon.

In the men's race, world record holder Eliud Kipchoge and the winner of the TCS London Marathon 2022, Amos Kipruto, will start in the German capital.

With Tigst Assefa as course record holder and winner of the 2022 race as well as Sheila Chepkirui, winner of the 2022 Berlin Marathon, the field of women is just as high-class.

Also national top athletes like Amanal Petros or Deborah and Rabea Schöneborn have registered. Chris Nikic, the first triathlete with Down syndrome to finish a long distance triathlon, and Matthias Hoffmann will start as Special Olympics athletes integratively at the BMW Berlin Marathon.

Skaters, handbikers and wheelchair athletes

Bart Swings, Felix Rijhnen, Marie Dupuy and Josie Hofmann are among the skaters on the starting line.

Manuela Schär and Catherine Debrunner will be among the female wheelchair racers who will be shaping the race for victory in an exciting way.

Marcel Hug is considered a candidate for victory in the men's race.

Katrin Möller as well as Vico Merklein claim a top position for themselves in the handbike elite.

Race in honour of Christophe Kopp

This year’s Berlin Marathon will honour Christoph Kopp, an outstanding contributor to the race from its beginnings until the end. Kopp passed away after a short serious illness on April 28 this year. He was 75 years old.

Kopp was one of the most experienced athletics officials in Germany. In his role as race director of the Berlin Marathon, he shaped the image of this event from its inception in 1974 until the end of the 1990s, accompanying it from its first steps in the Grunewald forest all the way up to the international world stage.

He then increasingly devoted his expertise to the support and mediation of top German and international athletes and soon became one of the elite managers in international running.

- Berlin Marathon