LONDON (Reuters) – Olympic bronze medallist Tsegaye Kebede believes he can break fellow-Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie’s world record when he defends his London marathon title on Sunday.
“If the weather is nice it’s possible to run 2:04 here, or even 2:03,” Kebede told a news conference on Thursday.
“If the body is healthy, and the weather good, I think on Sunday I will run the world record.”
Gebrselassie set his world mark of two hours three minutes 59 seconds on the fast Berlin course in 2008.
Kebede, 24, who clocked 2:05:19 last year, is the fifth fastest man only in Sunday’s race which once again features the cream of the world’s marathoners.
Four Kenyans are ahead of him on the all-time list, headed by James Kwambai, who recorded 2:04:27 in Rotterdam two years ago. Only Gebrselassie and Duncan Kibet, who beat Kwambai to the line in Rotterdam, have run faster.
Patrick Makau, last year’s Rotterdam and Berlin champion, is next on the list with 2:04:48, followed by world champion Abel Kirui (2:05:04) and three-times London champion Martin Lel (2:05:15).