(CNN)The New York City Marathon returns connected Sunday pursuing a two-year hiatus, and astatine the beforehand of the field, legendary region runner Kenenisa Bekele is primed to "make much history" successful his storied career.
Bekele, a three-time Olympic golden medalist implicit 5,000 and 10,000 meters, is the header sanction competing successful the men's elite tract successful New York.
With his lone erstwhile marathon successful the United States a fourth-place decorativeness successful Chicago 7 years ago, the Ethiopian is bare for occurrence arsenic helium prepares to instrumentality to the streets of the Big Apple.
"Really, I wanted to person a bully effect successful the USA, that's wherefore I chose the New York marathon," Bekele told reporters this week.
"The New York marathon is large publicity and a truly large marathon race. To execute a bully effect successful this marathon would beryllium perfect, and for me, it's besides truly bully to marque much past successful sports."
Bekele has a constituent to beryllium aft a disappointing outing six weeks agone astatine the Berlin Marathon -- the contention astatine which helium came wrong 2 seconds of Eliud Kipchoge's satellite record clip 2 years ago.
Despite expectations that helium could situation Kipchoge's grounds of 2 hours, 1 infinitesimal and 39 seconds successful Berlin this year, Bekele says helium fell foul to a mediocre night's slumber arsenic helium finished third, much than a infinitesimal down victor Guye Adola.
"I was not acceptable for that race," Bekele explained. "A fewer weeks earlier the race, I was not truly confident. It's a small spot pugnacious for maine due to the fact that the time earlier besides I couldn't slumber well, I truly had atrocious luck the time earlier successful the night. That besides made maine precise tired.
"I've recovered good ... At this moment, I'm truly strong. I anticipation I'll execute a bully effect connected Sunday."
For contention organizers, who called disconnected past year's New York City Marathon amid the pandemic, it is simply a boon to person a fig similar Bekele connected the commencement enactment connected Sunday.
On apical of his 3 Olympic golden medals -- including a treble successful the 5,000 and 10,000 meters astatine Beijing 2008 -- and 1 metallic medal, helium besides claimed 5 satellite athletics title titles betwixt 2003 to 2009.
Bekele's 5,000m satellite grounds stood for 16 years earlier it was breached by Uganda's Joshua Cheptegei past year, portion his 10,000m grounds stood for 15 earlier besides being breached past twelvemonth by Cheptegei.
Many see Bekele to beryllium the top antheral region runner of each time, specified has been his supremacy crossed aggregate distances implicit the past 2 decades; others constituent towards Kenya's Kipchoge, who has been truthful ascendant implicit the 26.2 miles of a marathon and is the archetypal antheral to break the distance's two-hour barrier, albeit successful unofficial conditions.
"I inactive consciousness that I americium the champion and amended than anyone," Bekele told Sports Illustrated successful August aft it was announced that helium would marque his debut successful New York. "I deliberation each jock and others should deliberation similar that."
Having struggled with injuries and signifier successful caller years, Bekele present has a 2nd accidental to triumph a large marathon successful the US.
There is small accidental that helium volition beryllium capable to travel adjacent to his champion marathon clip successful New York; dissimilar Berlin, the course, which undulates done the city's 5 boroughs, seldom produces accelerated performances.
"I cognize the people is pugnacious and determination are besides nary pacemakers successful the race. It's much astir attraction and a tactical race," said Bekele.
He volition beryllium up against the Netherlands' Adbi Nageeye, who won the metallic medal astatine the Olympics successful Sapporo 3 months ago, and the fractional marathon satellite grounds holder Kibiwott Kandie of Kenya, who is making his marathon debut.
The women's contention is headlined by Kenya's Peres Jepchirchir, the golden medalist astatine the Olympics. She volition beryllium joined by the USA's Olympic bronze medalist Molly Seidel.
Another jock to support an oculus connected is US prima Shalane Flanagan arsenic she attempts to tally six marathons successful 42 days. Having already completed marathons successful Berlin, London, Chicago, Boston and Portland -- each betwixt times of 2:35:14 and 2:46:39 -- Flanagan volition purpose to implicit her situation successful New York.
And arsenic for Bekele, similar truthful galore different runners who volition instrumentality to the commencement enactment connected Sunday, he's grateful to beryllium capable to contention successful New York pursuing the pandemic and past year's cancellation.
"To spot the radical of New York enactment successful this contention again -- to spot this for maine is fantastic," helium said. "I privation to privation each participants bully luck."