The match up has now been confirmed, in what is set to be one of the most anticipated races in history. This will see the two fastest marathon runners in the world take each other on in London, which is expected to draw vast crowds and coverage from around the world. Many firms are likely to be pricing up the event such as William Hill, with Kipchoge heading in as the favourite and the one to beat. The London marathon will be taking place on Sunday 26th April, as the event draws ever nearer. Here we cover the credentials of the two leading male runners.
Eliud Kipchoge is 35 years of age and is now widely regarded as the greatest distance runner in history. The Kenyan is the current world record holder for the marathon distance with a time of 2:01:39. This was set at the 2018 Berlin marathon, when breaking his previous record by one minute and 18 seconds. Kipchoge has also now won 12 of his 13 marathons he has raced in, which gives a further indication of his dominance over the rest at present.
Kipchoge also took part in a special event in Vienna, Austria back in October looking to break the two hour mark. He achieved the feat, running a time of 1:59:40, which meant he was the first to have ever ran under two hours for the marathon distance. This was a stunning achievement but will not count as an official record due to not using standard competition rules, such as pacing and the fact it was not an open event. It will now be interesting to see whether he can replicate this performance in an official race.
HISTORY! pic.twitter.com/qjLfofhL5s— Eliud Kipchoge – EGH?? (@EliudKipchoge) October 12, 2019
However, it appears he could have a serious challenger on his hands in the shape of Kenenisa Bekele. The 37 year old has long been one of the greatest runners in history, with numerous records to his name. The Ethiopian has picked up three Olympic golds in his glittering career and really shot back into the racing world when running a time of 2:01:41 at the 2019 Berlin marathon. This meant he missed out on the world record by only two seconds, which sets up for the much anticipated clash in London.
To date the pair have raced each other on 20 separate occasions. They have raced twice in cross-country, in which Bekele won on each occasion. Bekele is also up 2-1 over the 3,000m distance and 8-2 up over the 5,000m distance. Bekele has won their only race at 10,000m but over the marathon distance it is a completely different story. It is 4-0 to Kipchoge, which is a further indication as to why he will start as the favourite in London. The running world will all be focused on the streets of London come Sunday 26th April.