London are you ready? The Ethiopians are coming!

20 Jan 2020

Team Ethiopia is set to return to London streets for the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 26th April.

Leading the pack will be long-distance legend, Kenenisa Bekele, who will go head to head with Kenya’s Eluid Kipchoge, in what will be one of the most eagerly anticipated races in marathon history. “The gladiatorial match-up the whole world has been waiting for – Eliud Kipchoge versus Kenenisa Bekele – is ON,” London Marathon said in a press release.

Kenenisa, who is the current world record holder for both the 5,000m and 10,000m, finished just two seconds outside Kipchoge’s world record at last September’s BMW Berlin Marathon.

Ever since that incredible run from Bekele, there has been a worldwide clamour for the two men to race each other again over 26.2 miles.

Hugh Brasher, Event Director of the Virgin Money London Marathon, said: “This is a match-up of two of the greatest athletes the world has ever seen and two men who already have their names in the record books. We are thrilled we have been able to make it happen in London.

“It is truly fitting that this match-up between two legends of the sport takes place at this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon. It is the head to head the world is waiting to see.”

Kenenisa, whose best finish in the London Marathon was second in 2017, said:

“I am thrilled to be returning to London. I feel like I have unfinished business here and I would love to win this beautiful race.”

“I am looking forward to racing against Eliud once again. We have had many great battles over the years on the track, roads and cross-country. He is a special athlete who proved that again with his magnificent achievements last year.”

“I feel like my win in Berlin proved that I am still capable of winning the biggest races in the world and in world-class times. I am really looking forward to what I can do in London.”

Joining Kenenisa are Ethiopian duo Mosinet Geremew and Mule Wasihun, who pushed the Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge to the limit at the 2019 race.

Geremew and Wasihun with Eluid Kipchoge at the 2019 London Marathon

27-year-old Geremew ran the fifth-fastest time in history of 2:02:55 to take second place in last year’s race, and then had to settle for second again in his next marathon, the 2019 World Championships in Doha last October.

Wasihun’s time in finishing third at last year’s Virgin Money London Marathon (2:03:16) was the 11th fastest marathon the world has ever seen.

Shura Kitata, who was fourth last year and second in 2018, has also been confirmed, ensuring that it looks likely to be a year when it is the Ethiopians who will be the biggest threat to Kipchoge winning an historic fifth London Marathon title.

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