Wednesday, June 19, 2024
SportKenenisa to take on defending champion Kipruto at London Marathon

Kenenisa to take on defending champion Kipruto at London Marathon

The 2023 TCS London Marathon elite men’s field will be a landmark occasion when, for the first time in history, two men who have run inside 2:02 will be together on the same start line at the World Athletics Platinum Label road race on April 24.

Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele, the second-fastest man ever with a PB of 2:01:41, and Kenya’s Kelvin Kiptum, the winner of the 2022 Valencia Marathon and the fastest marathon debutant in history (2:01:53) have both been confirmed for the race.

With Ethiopian duo Birhanu Legese (2:02:48) and Mosinet Geremew (2:02:55) also in the field, it means this year’s London Marathon will have four of the five fastest men in marathon history on the start line.

In addition, the defending champion Amos Kipruto of Kenya and world champion Tamirat Tola will also return to London, along with multiple world and Olympic champion Mo Farah and two-time New York Marathon winner Geoffrey Kamworor.

Kipruto’s win at last year’s London Marathon was the biggest victory of his career and his first Abbott World Marathon Major triumph. “Winning last year’s TCS London Marathon was an incredible experience for me,” said the 30-year-old, who was second at last year’s Tokyo Marathon behind world record-holder Eliud Kipchoge and third in the 2019 World Championships. “I am now preparing hard for this year’s race and I can’t wait to return to London as the champion.

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“London always has a really strong field and this year is the same so I know I will face a battle to defend my title, but I’m confident and looking forward to it.”

Tamirat, who won the world title in Oregon last year, will be one of several men aiming to prevent Kipruto from winning back-to-back titles. Tamirat, 31, is in a fine run of form over the 26.2-mile distance, winning the 2021 Amsterdam Marathon and finishing third at the 2022 Tokyo Marathon (behind Kipchoge and Kipruto) before winning his world title last summer.

Also in the field is last year’s runner-up Leul Gebresilase of Ethiopia, and the second-placed finisher in London in both 2020 and 2021 Vincent Kipchumba. The new holder of the Oceanian marathon record Brett Robinson, who ran 2:07:31 in Fukuoka last year, returns to London after finishing eighth in 2022. Japan’s 2018 Boston Marathon champion Yuki Kawauchi is making his London Marathon debut in what will be his 114th marathon. By finishing in London, Kawauchi will be eligible for his Abbott World Marathon Majors six star medal for finishing all six major marathons: London, Tokyo, Boston, Berlin, Chicago and New York.

The elite women’s field will be announced tomorrow.

(WA)

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