London Marathon battle remains unpredictable

Amos Kipruto celebrates after winning bronze in 2019 Athletics World Marathon Championships in Doha. [AFP]

The world awaits the clash between Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele and a Kenyan at the London Marathon on Sunday. 

From the starting point of the race at Blackheath, south of River Thames, then pass through various iconic and landmarks like the river Thames, Big Ben, London Eye, the Tower Bridge, Canary Whaff, the Buckingham Palace to the finish at The Mall; global athletics enthusiasts will be curious. 

Amos Kipruto, runner-up at Tokyo Marathon last March, will battle with Bekele, the second fastest marathoner in history (2:01.41) in the United Kingdom’s premier 42km race. 

Two-time London Marathon runner-up Vincent Kipchumba has withdrawn from the race due to injury.  

Ethiopia’s Sisay Lemma, the winner of last year’s race, will be joined by two men who have broken two hours and three minutes in marathon. There are only six men in history who have gone 2:03 and faster. The London Marathon has assembled a record field of eight sub-2:04 men. 

The loaded men’s field include numerous world and Olympic champions, the 39-year-old Mo Farah and the 40-year-old legend Bekele. 

The line-up also has Birhanu Legese, the third-fastest man in history with 2:02:48, and Mosinet Geremew, who with his personal best time of 2:02:55 is the fifth fastest on all time lists. 

European record holder Bashir Abdi of Belgium, who holds a PB of 2:03:36, is also on the start list, with the runner-up in London in 2020 and 2021 Vincent Kipchumba (2:04:28). 

Kipruto picked up athletics after schooling. From childhood, Kipruto nursed lofty dreams: to stage excellent shows in athletics. And it has come to pass. 

Kipruto, who put on hold his athletics desires to concentrate on academics, seems to follow in the counsel of American author Les Brown who once said: “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it, you will still land among the stars.” 

Kipruto said he picked his running skills from Tergat and former Olympic marathon champion, the late Sammy Wanjiru.

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