Depends on distance
5000m to 10000m Bekele
Half marathon to marathon Kipchoge
12:37 and 26:17 are insane, as is 2:01:41, but I think Kipchoge's career may have surpassed Bekele's at this point. What, 4 marathon efforts under 2:02 now, two under 2:01? The sub 2:00 effort alone still almost seems hard to believe it's so beyond the realm of what should be possible. The guy also won the WC 5000m in Paris back in 2003 at age 18 against two WR holders (Bekele and El G)... Truly incredible career.
Kipchoge has NOT run 2 marathons sub 2:01. Bekele has 3 gold medals from olympics on the track. The track is and has historically been the more prestigous (above marathon).
5 double cross world championships, that is DOUBLE (two golds: short+long)! 17 total world championships! Please do not try and say that Kipchoge winning some big road races are similar to that. His only track achievement is winning the 5000m in the WC. Come on.
It's like comparing Armstrong to Eddy Merckx... One is great, the other is the goat.
half marathon is closer to 5k/10k than to marathon, especially for the the faster ones.. I would say in his prime, Bekele would beat Kipchoge 9 out of 10 in that distance.
Very good question after the 2:01:09.
Pro Bekele: Insane track career, XC and insane Marathon PR.
Pro Kipchoge: Longvity and neverseen domination in the marathon for 10 freakin' years.
I'd still go with Bekele. Yes, he flamed out quicker, but this has to be expected and the "best" doesn't mean very good for a couple years, it means the best, the quickest.
Medals/titles: Bekele wins.
PRs: Bekele wins, too. 12:37/26:17/2:01:41 in total looks better than 12:46/26:53/2:01:09.
When Kipchoge threepeats it might change.
Until he does that, it just shows how absurd good Bekele was, as he ran close to Kipchoge's marathon WR although he wasn't at 100 % anymore and barely able to string together healthy training for a long period.
My thesis: If Bekele started running marathons in 2009, he for sure could have run at least 2:00:xx.
So in short: Better overall runner at peak: Bekele.
Better longvity and road racer: Kipchoge.
Bekele is still clear by a good margin. 3 olympic golds on the track, 5 WC golds on the track, 11 golds in world XC, bullying Kipchoge of the track. Most gifted and accomplished runner ever.
While I’m inclined to go Bekele, Kipchoge winning that 5k in 2003, which included El G, and at the age of 18, kind of makes a statement that Kipchoge can beat anyone, anytime, anyplace.
Don't forget El G had already run the 1500, and Bekele the 10,000, before that 5000. That was Kipchoge's only global track gold in his entire 10 year track career, so no, he could not beat anyone at anytime.
Answer is Kenenisa Kipchoge.
Respectfully, I disagree.
Track: Bekele. World Records. yes, I have to mention that he didn't wear supershoes..(sorry)
Road: Kipchoge-He certainly won the battle against father time (vs bekele) and has proven that even while approaching 40, he is an artist on the roads.
Olympics: Bekele- Gold/Silver 2004, Gold/Gold 2008 vs Kipchoge Bronze 2004, Silver 2008 and 2016/2021 marathon Gold
Kipchoge was behind Bekele for both of his track medals. Yes, his two marathon golds are impressive, but given the head-to-head battles, I have to go with Bekele.
I am tired of people thinking this is realy a discussion.
Kipchoge has a losing head to head record against bekele
-Less gold medals
-Less Olympic medals
-Less World records(although Bekele currently only holds 2 world records in the superspike/Laser pacing era)
- Doesn't even have a single medal in the 10,000
Dominating the marathon is cool and all but literally there is not a single marathon where you can count on ALL of the best marathoners in the world to line up at the same time unlike a track world championship or a olympic final. The olympic marathon doesn't even have ALL of the best marathoner's competing at once.
On top of the Bekele held the 2nd fastest marathon time before and after super shoes despite being older and having a ton of injuries. If we didn't have covid and could have seen a healthy 2:01 Bekele race Kipchoge in the olympics we could assume Kipchoge would win but many wouldn't be surprised if Bekele won. He is more talented in my opinion.
SO Bekele was historically dominant in a more competitive events while Kipchoge was historically dominant in less competitive event. Lastly as good as kipchoge is in the marathon Bekele was still even better than that in cross country and xc is more competitive than the marathon in my opinion. Bekele and Mo farah(both only 2 years older than kipchoge) basically bullied him off the track winning a combined total of 19 gold track medals on his watch. Theres just no comparison despite people trying to make it one
If it helps to see the totals next to eachother
Bekele: 20(11 xc 8 outdoor track 1 indoor track)
Major Marathons wins(still not comparable to the medals up there ^)
Head to head:
Eliud KIPCHOGE Kenenisa BEKELE
Oslo ExxonMobil Bislett Games
27 JUN 2003
KIPCHOGE: 3rd / 12:52.61 Bekele: 1st / 12:52.26
Paris-St-Denis IAAF World Championships
28 AUG 2003
KIPCHOGE 2nd / 13:38.73 Bekele: 1st / 13:38.03
Paris-St-Denis IAAF World Championships
31 AUG 2003
KIPCHOGE: 1st / 12:52.79 Bekele: 3rd / 12:53.12
Athens Olympic Games
28 AUG 2004
KIPCHOGE: 3rd / 13:15.10 Bekele: 2nd / 13:14.59
Roma Golden Gala
14 JUL 2006
KIPCHOGE: 6th / 12:54.94 Bekele: 1st / 12:51.44
Crystal Palace Norwich Union London Grand Prix
28 JUL 2006
KIPCHOGE: 4th / 13:01.74 Bekele: 2nd / 13:00.04
18 AUG 2006
KIPCHOGE: 3rd / 12:57.69 Bekele: 1st / 12:48.25
Bruxelles Memorial Van Damme
25 AUG 2006
2nd / 13:01.88 Bekele: 1st / 12:48.09
Beijing Olympic Games
23 AUG 2008
KIPCHOGE: 2nd / 13:02.80 Bekele: 1st / 12:57.82
Berlin IAAF World Championships
23 AUG 2009
5th / 13:18.95
1st / 13:17.09
Paris Meeting AREVA
06 JUL 2012
KIPCHOGE: 8th / 12:55.34 Bekele: 9th / 12:55.79
Bruxelles Memorial van Damme
16 SEP 2011
Kipchoge: 5th / 26:53.27 Bekele: 1st / 26:43.16
Thessaloniki IAAF/VTB Bank World Athletics Final
12 SEP 2009
Kipchoge: 9th / 8:07.26 Bekele: 1st / 8:03.79
Doha IAAF Diamond League Meeting
11 MAY 2012
Kipchoge: 2nd / 7:31.40 Bekele: 7th / 7:40.00
Moskva IAAF World Indoor Championships
12 MAR 2006
Kipchoge: 3rd / 7:42.58 Bekele: 1st / 7:39.32
Bruxelles IAAF World Cross Country Championships
21 MAR 2004
Kipchoge: 4th / 36:34 Bekele:1st / 35:52
St-Etienne IAAF World Cross Country Championships
20 MAR 2005
Kipchoge: 5th / 35:37 Bekele: 1st / 35:06
12 OCT 2014
Kipchoge: 1st / 2:04:11 Bekele: 4th / 2:05:51
24 APR 2016
Kipchoge: 1st / 2:03:05 Bekele:3rd / 2:06:36
24 SEP 2017
Kipchoge: 1st / 2:03:32 Bekele: 0th / DNF
22 APR 2018
Kipchoge: 1st / 2:04:17 Bekele: 6th / 2:08:53
Objectively speaking theres no way to put Kipchoge over Bekele
even if he 3 peats he needs to go back to the track for anything to actually change lol
Bekele has a 6 peat in Xc anda 10,000m 4 peat and like I said earlier a track finals is more competitive than a major marathon.
Bekele. World Cross dominance, 5k and 10k dominance, and a marathon time that isn't far behind Kipchoge. There is some recency bias with Kipchoge, but Bekele was super dominant over a wide range of events. Kipchoge is the clear marathon GOAT, but Bekele's resume speaks for itself.
World Cross - Bekele!
They are both among the best ever. I don't care who is better, this obsession with GOATs is just stupid and detracts from the real reason we do sports.
I love comparing athletes but I do agree sometimes it sounds like fans are downplaying or even downright hating the ability of one athlete. Like the Lebron - MJ comparison is so toxic at this point that people are literally hating on one of the athletes to make their favorite seem better.
As a runner i'd kill for a fraction of the resume of kipchoge or Bekele. My best accomplishment is probably being all-conference or 2nd fastest freshman at conference in college which can be easily replicated lol.
Pains me to be 'that guy' but we can't overstate how significant the differences in shoe technology were for each athlete's era of dominance. We know that certain athletes are 'super responders' to the new shoes depending on their gait, physiology, and running mechanics. As such, there is always going to be the tiniest of asterisks next to Kipchoge's post-floppy shoe performance at Berlin in 2015. I have absolutely no doubt he would still be the most dominant marathoner in the world today, but the more recent mindblowing times are irrefutably partially due to the shoe tech, and he may well be squeezing an extra few fractions of advantage out of them compared to other athletes if he is a super responder; particularly as he is getting VIP customised shoes that are tailored for his exact needs.
And just to be really controversial, I think I'm right in saying that Bekele's 2:03:03 was 2 seconds faster than Kipchoge's best marathon time in the pre-super shoe era.
FWIW, Bekele's 2:03:03 was run in the Vaporfly prototype. (as well as Kipchoge's 2:03:05)