- The two of the world’s best marathon runners Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele were due to clash on Sunday in London but have been forced to shelve the plans with the event postponed due to the coronavirus.
Kipchoge reminisces seven years he made his debut in the Hamburg marathon, Germany, clocking an impressive 2:05:30. “On this day in 2013, I ran the very first marathon of my life. The memories of my debut in Hamburg are good; I won this marathon in 2:05:30. It has been a beautiful journey so far,” Kipchoge said.
Now with the prospect of the two clashing in London on Sunday now impossible, Kipchoge’s focus is on remaining fit for future competitions. London would have been their fifth time racing together in a marathon and Kipchoge has won all four previous encounters.
It’s anticipated that Bekele will return to the Olympics after his shock exclusion by the Ethiopian Athletics Federation for Rio 2016.
Kipchoge has already secured his spot in the Kenya team and will do everything to defend his title.
However, Bekele (2:01:41), believes a clash between the two would serve as the highlight of the track and field program. Especially should he be included in the Ethiopia team for the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games? But should he not make the 2012 Olympics, Bekele said, “One year is not a long time.”
“I hope I can stay in good shape, disciplined, because one year is just tomorrow. The most important thing is to stay healthy and to stay fit.”
Bekele, who has overcome an Achilles tendon injury, believes he can shave more than a minute off his personal best, and even lower the official world Record 2:01.39 set by Kipchoge in Berlin in 2018, to less than two hours.
Only Kipchoge has run under two hours, albeit in closed conditions and with aids, at the Vienna course back in October, where he posted a time of 1:59:40.
Bekele is confident he can run faster too. “I’m sure; it’s possible to run that time [two hours]. I can run may be faster than the world record, maybe close to two hours or something. It’s down to the weather conditions and a good course,” Bekele concluded.