What you need to know:
- NTV will broadcast Sunday’s race live with double Olympic champion and world record holder Eliud Kipchoge defending his title on the streets of the German capital
- German Ambassador to Kenya, Sebastian Groth, Monday visited Nation Centre and paid a courtesy call on Nation Media Group Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Gitagama, as part of the build-up to Sunday’s race
- Gitagama stressed NMG’s commitment to supporting various initiatives, including sports, hence the decision to broadcast the Berlin Marathon live, and for free, and to also hold the live viewing party in Eldoret
The German Embassy in Nairobi has partnered with the Nation Media Group and several corporates to present a live viewing party for this Sunday’s Berlin Marathon on the streets of Eldoret.
NTV will broadcast Sunday’s race live with double Olympic champion and world record holder Eliud Kipchoge defending his title on the streets of the German capital.
Kipchoge shattered the world record at last year’s Berlin Marathon, clocking two hours, one minute and nine seconds to improve on his previous best of 2:01:39 celebrated on the same course in 2018.
German Ambassador to Kenya, Sebastian Groth, Monday visited Nation Centre and paid a courtesy call on Nation Media Group Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Gitagama, as part of the build-up to Sunday’s race.
Accompanied by Michael Pietsch, who is the embassy’s First Secretary, Political Counsellor and Press Attache, Groth said his mission will work with NMG on various areas of common interest, the development of sports being key among these.
Groth will be in Eldoret this Saturday and Sunday for activities leading to Sunday’s Berlin Marathon whose extensive live production on NTV will start at 9.30am.
He will join Uasin Gishu Governor Jonathan Bii for the live viewing party on Uganda road.
Besides the German Embassy, some of the corporates that are on board so far for NTV’s Eldoret viewing party include Isuzu East Africa, NCBA Bank, Hisense Kenya, Eka Hotel Eldoret, Chapabet and the County Government of Uasin Gishu.
“There are several areas in which we are keenly interested in, including clean energy, renewable energy, green technology and also educational programmes that we can have discussions around with NMG,” the ambassador said.
He noted that over 18,000 Kenyan students have benefitted from German educational scholarships over the years, and that as Kenya celebrates its 60th independence anniversary this year, Kenya and Germany continue to enjoy a great relationship with Germany having been the first country to recognise an independent Kenya in 1963.
Gitagama stressed NMG’s commitment to supporting various initiatives, including sports, hence the decision to broadcast the Berlin Marathon live, and for free, and to also hold the live viewing party in Eldoret.
“Eldoret is the home of athletics and on Sunday, I’m sure many residents of Eldoret and its environs will abandon many commitments to join in watching Eliud Kipchoge and his fellow Kenyans competing, and winning, in Berlin,” Gitagama said.
Ambassador Groth later visited various NMG departments at Nation Centre including Broadcasting, Editorial, Commercial and the Integrated Newsroom.
Kipchoge will return to one of his favourite hunting grounds when he lines up once again at the BMW-sponsored Berlin Marathon on Sunday.
From his comments in the build-up to the race, Kipchoge is once more intending to run fast. Impressive though his achievements are, the race will have plenty of interest elsewhere, notably in the return of the women’s champion from 12 months ago, Tigst Assefa.
The Ethiopian produced an astonishing improvement to win in 2:15:37. German hopes are likely to centre on Amanal Petros, the men’s national record holder who has been training in Iten.
Many of the elite in general will also be targeting the qualifying time for next year’s Olympic Marathon in Paris.
Over 45,000 runners have been registered for the 49th edition of the Berlin Marathon which is part of the Abbott World Marathon Majors (AWMM) along with races in Boston, Chicago, London, New York and Tokyo.
“I have been putting in the work together with the team, doing all my training and trusting the process. I am ready to go back to my special place, back to Berlin to take on the challenge again,” said Kipchoge, reviewing his state of readiness.
There is no doubt that he intends to make best use of Berlin’s flat course once again.
It is clear he wants to produce yet another performance of exceptional quality and thus qualify for the Olympics.
The second fastest runner on the start list is also from Kenya: Amos Kipruto, who has a personal best time of 2:03:13 and knows what it is like to duel with the man regarded by many as the greatest marathoner of all time, finishing second to Kipchoge with that personal best in Tokyo in 2022.
For Germany’s record holder Petros, the target will be improving on his own best of 2:06:27 by a significant margin.
It was Tigst Assefa who produced the biggest upset in last year’s Berlin Marathon.
The Ethiopian improved her best by a staggering 18 minutes and smashed the course record with 2:15:37.
While the defending champion is likely to start as favourite, she could also face a Kenyan challenge from Sheila Chepkirui whose best is 2:17:29.
Both athletes will also have their sights on Olympic qualification in the marathon.