Bekele to run London with eye on world record
Send a link to a friend
[January 09, 2017]
By Mitch Phillips
LONDON (Reuters) - Triple Olympic track
champion Kenenisa Bekele, the second-fastest marathon runner in
history, will make another attempt at claiming the world record over
the classic 26.2 mile distance when he leads a stellar field for the
London marathon in April.
Ethiopian Bekele, widely regarded as the greatest distance runner of
all time and world record holder over 10,000 and 5,000 meters, ran
two hours, three minutes and three seconds when winning Berlin last
September, six seconds outside Dennis Kimetto's world record of
2:02:57 set on the same course in 2014.
Having been left out of the Ethiopian team for the Rio Olympics a
month earlier it was a clear message from Bekele that he had
mastered the marathon after initially producing very good, but not
world best-threatening times in his first forays over the distance.
The 34-year-old, with five track world titles to his name over
10,000m and 5,000, finished third in London last year behind Kenyan
duo Eliud Kipchoge and Stanley Biwott and Kipchoge’s course record
of 2:03:05 and Kimetto’s world mark will both be in his sights.
"London is the greatest marathon in the world and I would love to
win there," Bekele said in a statement issued by race organizers
revealing the lineup on Monday. "The field is always the best and
victory means so much. After finishing third last year, I know what
I need to do to win."
Biwott, who won the 2015 New York City Marathon, is likely to be
Bekele’s main rival as he leads the Kenyan challenge in the absence
of two-time champion Kipchoge. Biwott finished runner-up in 2014,
fourth in 2015 and second again last year in a personal best of
[to top of second column]
Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia crosses the finish line to win the men's
5000m race at the IAAF Golden League Memorial Van Damme athletics
meeting in Brussels September 4, 2009 REUTERS/Francois Lenoir/File
leading pair are two of seven in the field who have run under 2:06,
while the race will also feature two marathon world champions, three
of the top five finishers from last summer’s Olympics, and the
winners of the Abbott World Marathon Majors races in Tokyo, Berlin,
Chicago and New York in 2016.
Abel Kirui, who won the world marathon title in 2011 and 2013,
returns to London for the first time since 2012 when he was fifth,
four months before winning Olympic silver in the same city.
Eritrean Ghirmay Ghebreslassie, who became the youngest world
marathon champion when he took the 2015 world title in Beijing at
19, also runs.
(Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)
[© 2017 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2017 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.