Kenenisa and Dibaba lead Team Ethiopia at London Marathon

12 Feb 2018

Ethiopian distance running queen, Tirunesh Dibaba, has confirmed her participation at the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon to be held on 22nd April.

Tirunesh, who has three Olympic gold medals and five World Championship victories to her name, has twice appeared in London before, and has improved with every performance.

In 2014 she finished third in two hours 20 minutes and 35 seconds before returning last year and coming second behind Mary Keitany in 2:17:56 – the third fastest marathon time in history in a women-only race.

The mother-of-one returned to the track last summer to win a silver medal in the 10,000m at the World Championships in London before picking up her first marathon win at the Chicago Marathon in October (2:18:30).

That victory put her joint top of the Abbott World Marathon Majors (AWMM) Series XI leader board, which started with last year’s Virgin Money London Marathon and concludes after this year’s race, counting the results of the World Championship marathon plus the marathons in Berlin, Chicago, New York, Tokyo and Boston in between.

A win for Dibaba in London this year will ensure she would secure the AWMM Series XI title.

Ethiopian legend Kenenisa Bekele, the 5,000m (12:37:35) and 10,000m world record holder (26:17:53), second fastest marathon runner in history (2:03:03) and the owner of three Olympic and five World Championship gold medals, will join Sir Mo Farah and Eliud Kipchoge in London.

Hugh Brasher, London Marathon Event Director said: “This is a truly mouth-watering prospect. Sir Mo, Eliud and Kenenisa could all put forward a persuasive case for being the GOAT (the greatest of all time) and now they meet for the first time over the marathon distance at the London Marathon.”

Bekele has run the past two Virgin Money London Marathons. He finished third in 2016 (2:06:36), when he admitted he was at just 90% fitness, and was then second last year (2:05:57) behind Daniel Wanjiru.

He said: “I’m thrilled to be returning to London for the third year in a row and would love to go one better than last year and win the race. Once again London has brought the best distance runners in the world together so I know it will not be easy.

“It will be an honour to race alongside Sir Mo Farah and Eliud Kipchoge as well as the other great athletes in the field. I have been training very hard with the aim of arriving in London in April in the best possible condition.”

Joining Kenenisa will be Guye Adola, who made his marathon debut in Frankfurt last year, finishing second in 2:03:46 – the fastest debut marathon ever.

Will 2018 be the year Tirunesh and Kenenisa claim their gold medals?

Team Ethiopia at London Marathon 2018

Here's who to look out for on 22 April...
Elite Women Elite Men
Tirunesh Dibaba Kenenisa Bekele
Mare Dibaba Guye Adola
Tigist Tufa Tola Shura Kitata
Tadelech Bekele

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