Kipchoge predicts fast London Marathon race on Sunday

Wednesday, September 30th, 2020 00:00 |
Eliud Kipchoge walks to the Covid-19 testing area on Monday evening after arriving at the official athletes hotel in London ahead of the historic elite-only 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon, in London, Britain, on Sept. 28, 2020. Photo/XINHUA

Webster Nyandika and Agencies

One year since world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge ran a tantalising INEOS 1:59 Challenge, finishing the race in 2:00:25 seconds, the Kenyan star says he expects a fast London Marathon race against his main challenger, Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele on Sunday.

On Sunday, Kipchoge led the Kenyan elite runners including world women marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei to London on private jet hired by London Marathon organizers to fly the athletes from Eldoret in northwest Kenya.

”I think the time will be fast, London is a big race and all the participants are in good shape and able to run faster times,” Kipchoge, who holds the official world marathon record of 2:01:39, told Xinhua on Sunday.”

I will be competing for the first time since running under two hours at the INEOS 1:59 Challenge. 

I’m happy to race with the dominant athletes, that is how the sport is and should be treated like that. Competition makes the sport beautiful,” he added.

Given the restrictions arising due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the London Marathon event will be in an enclosed looped course in St James’ Park, but an unbowed Kipchoge said he did not adjust his training program to meet the challenge of running in a loop course.

”It’s truly my first time to race in a loop, but I have been training normally, no different at ups in my training. I trust my coach and I will put what I have been doing in that loop. 

Life is about making adjustments and I am ready for the loop challenge in London,” said Kipchoge.

Kipchoge and Bekele first faced-off 17 years ago at Oslo’s Bislet games where Bekele came out the winner in the 5,000m race in a time of 12:52.26 and the rivalry has continued to date.

More on Sports