Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge believes he is in good shape ahead of his London Marathon title defence on October 4.
The 35-year-old is primed for a mouthwatering clash with Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele, with the pair being the only distance athletes to run a marathon race under two hours and two minutes – Kipchoge’s world record mark of 2:01.39 and Bekele’s 2:01.41.
While the build up to the iconic race seems to revolve around the duo, it is also worth noting it will be a battle between two fierce athletics rivals – Kenya and Ethiopia.
Bekele, the 10,000m world record holder will have company in compatriots Mosinet Geremew and Mule Wasihun who placed second and third respectively at the 2019 race behind Kipchoge as well as the 2018 first runners up Shura Kitata.
The Kenyan contingent also has Rotterdam marathon champion Marius Kipserem, Amsterdam marathon champion Vincent Kipchumba, former Toronto marathon champion Benson Kipruto and Gedion Kipketer.
Four-time Olympic Champion Mo Farah who recently switched to track is among the pacemakers in the race.
As the event draws closer, Kipchoge is calm as he seeks his fifth and a second title in a row at the English capital.
“I am really feeling good having trained for the last three months and now I am waiting for the big day. I will be concluding my training on Saturday and depart for London on Sunday. I have already taken a Covid-19 test where I have been cleared having tested negative. I am eager to go and represent my country in London marathon,” Kipchoge told NTV on Thursday.
The 40thedition of the race was initially planned for April 26 before it was postponed owing to Covid-19 pandemic and will thus be the first in history to have elites-only races.
Similarly, unlike in the previous editions where the race is held in the largely flat course around River Thames, this year’s event will take place on an enclosed looped course in St James’s Park in a secure biosphere.
In the women’s field, defending champion Brigid Kosgei will compete alongside the 2018 champion Vivian Cheruiyot, world marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich and Valary Aiyabei.