Kenya’s Geoffrey Kipsang and Gladys Cherono, the world half marathon champions, are the latest top athletes to be added to the field for this year´s BMW Berlin Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label Road Race, on 28 September.
Kipsang will be up against Chicago Marathon champion Dennis Kimetto, two-time London Marathon winner Tsegaye Kebede, and 2011 London Marathon champion Emmanuel Mutai.
Cherono, meanwhile, will be up against Tokyo Marathon champion Tirfi Tsegaye, 2008 Olympic bronze medallist Shalane Flanagan and world bronze medallist Kayoko Fukushi.
Kipsang has finished third in Berlin for the past two years. Now with a global title under his belt, the 21-year-old will be aiming to achieve his first marathon victory in the German capital.
Kimetto finished second in Berlin two years ago, running the fastest ever debut marathon with 2:04:16. In 2012 he set a 25km world record of 1:11:18, and then in 2013 he set course records in Tokyo (2:06:50) and Chicago (2:03:45), the latter being the third-fastest time ever on a legitimate course.
Reigning World Marathon Majors champion Kebede is one of the most consistent marathon runners of his generation. Of the 17 marathons he has finished, he has finished in the top three in 14 of them, winning six times. The Ethiopian took bronze medals at the 2008 Olympics and 2009 World Championships and set his PB of 2:04:38 when winning the 2012 Chicago Marathon.
Mutai is one of the most successful marathoners of the past decade. A former winner in London and Amsterdam, the 29-year-old Kenyan is the 2009 world silver medallist. He has finished in the top two in London three times, in New York twice and once in Chicago, setting a PB of 2:03:52 on the latter occasion.
World half marathon champion Cherono will be racing over 26.2 miles for the first time in her career. The 10,000m world silver medallist has a half-marathon PB of 1:06:48 and is the reigning African champion over 5000m and 10,000m.
Her toughest challenge could come from Tsegaye, who has a PB of 2:21:19, set when finishing second in Berlin two years ago. Since then, she went on to win in Dubai in 2013 and Tokyo earlier this year.
US 10,000m record-holder Flanagan will head to Berlin brimming with confidence after clocking 2:22:02, her fastest time ever, in Boston earlier this year.
Fukushi won the bronze medal in the marathon at last year’s World Championships in Moscow and will be looking to break her PB of 2:24:21, set in Osaka last year.
Organisers for the IAAF