Kenyan team for 40th Virgin Money London Marathon is led by Kipchoge

Tuesday, September 29th, 2020 00:00 |
Eliud Kipchoge.

Team Kenya for the 40th edition of the Virgin money London marathon jetted out on Sunday night and arrived at London Stansted Airport on Monday morning in high spirits ahead of the highly-anticipated marathon on Sunday.

The team left Eldoret International Airport on Sunday at 8:15pm aboard an Oryx executive jet hired by London Marathon organisers to fly in elite athletes from Kenya and Ethiopia.

The executive jet made a stop-over in Addis Ababa to pick the Ethiopian contingent led by multiple world and Olympic distance running champion Kenenisa Bekele.

They then made a refuelling stop in Athens, Greece, before making the final approach to London Stansted Airport.

At the airport in Eldoret to bid farewell the athletes were Athletics Kenya President Jack Tuwei, Chief Administrative Secretary for Sports Hassan Noor Hassan and Central Rift Athletics Kenya chairman Abraham Mutai, among others.

The Kenyan team consists of world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge, Amsterdam Marathon champion Vincent Kipchumba and Rotterdam Marathon champion Marius Kipserem.

Others in the team include 2016 Mumbai Marathon winner Gideon Kipketer and a late entrant to the list Benson Kipruto.

Kipchoge is primed for a mouthwatering clash with Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele, with the pair being the only distance athletes to run a marathon race under two hours and two minutes -- Kipchoge’s world record mark of 2:01.39 and Bekele’s 2:01.41.

Last year, Kipchoge bagged victory in a course record of two hours, two minutes and 37 seconds, finishing ahead of Ethiopians Mosinet Geremew (2:02:55) and Mule Wasihun 2:03:16 who were in the second and third positions respectively.

While the build up to the iconic race seems to revolve around the duo, it is also worth noting it will be a battle between two fierce athletics rivals Kenya and Ethiopia.

The women’s contingent team consists of the defending champion Brigid Kosgei, 2018 winner Vivian Cheruiyot, world marathon champion Ruth Chepng’etich, Frankfurt Marathon champion Valary Jemeli and debutant Edith Chelimo.

Kosgei won in 2:18:20 finishing ahead of her compatriot Vivian Cheruiyot who clocked 2:20:14.

The 40th edition of the race was initially planned for April 26 will be the first in history to have elites-only races.

Unlike in the previous editions where the race is held in the largely flat course around River Thames, this year’s event will take place on an enclosed looped course in St James’s Park in a secure biosphere.

More on Sports