(Updated after Makau withdrawal)
Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge and Geoffrey Kipsang will be among the elite runners on the start line of the 40th BMW Berlin Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label Road Race on 29 September, organisers announced on Wednesday (4).
The pair join their compatriot Wilson Kipsang, the second-fastest man ever over the distance, who was announced in July.
Kenya's World record-holder Patrick Makau was originally supposed to compete in the race but withdrew on 13 September citing an inflamed and injured left knee.
Kipchoge was crowned the World champion over 5000m in 2003 and he made an impressive Marathon debut during the spring, with a dominating win in Hamburg in 2:05:30.
Kiptanui is only 21 years old but is considered to be one of the top running talents from the Kenyan highlands. In 2011, he was the IAAF World Cross Country Championships junior men’s winner. Less than 12 months ago, he made his Marathon debut and took third place in berlin in a time of 2:06:12.
This year, he ran 58:54 to win the RAK Half Marathon in February.
Another name announced on Wednesday was that of Brazil’s Marilson Dos Santos, who has a personal best 2:06:38 and is a two-time winner of the New York City Marathon and finished fifth at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Kiplagat the women's favourite
The women’s race will see the return of Kenya’s Florence Kiplagat, who won in Berlin two years ago in 2:19:42, and Germany’s Marathon record-holder Irina Mikitenko.
Mikitenko, now 41, hopes to improve on the over-40 world best which is currently 2:25:43.
The other leading women’s names include the Kenyan trio of Georgina Rono, who has a a best of 2:21:39, 2013 Boston champion Sharon Cherop, who has run 2:22:39, while the highly-rated Helah Kiprop, who has run two Half-marathons under 1:08 this year, will make her debut.
USA’s Desiree Davila, Sweden’s Isabellah Andersson and the Japanese pair of Remi Nakazato and Eri Hayakawa will also be on the women’s start line.
Eight World records have been set in Berlin, more than at any other Marathon in the past 50 years, and in addition to Makau, everyone who has taken the classic event into new territory in the German capital will be at this year’s race.
Germany’s Christa Vahlensieck (who set the World record in 1977), Brazil’s Ronaldo Da Costa (1998), Kenya’s Tegla Loroupe (1999), Japan’s Naoko Takahashi (2001, when she was first woman to run under 2:20), Kenya’s Paul Tergat (2003) and the Ethiopian legend Haile Gebrselassie (2007 and 2008) will be in Berlin on 29 September.
Organisers for the IAAF