Kenenisa Bekele Goes After Kipchoge's World Record in Historic UK Clash

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    Photo collage of Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge (left) and Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele (right)
  • Update: Saturday, August 8: World 3,000m steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto announced that he tested positive for Covid-19.

    Kipruto tweeted that the tests were as a result of a mandatory test he undertook to clear him to travel to Monaco for the upcoming Monaco Diamond League scheduled for August 14.

    “Our World is going through a challenging period and we all have to take our responsibilities. Unfortunately my covid-19 test, as part of the Monaco-protocol, came back positive and therefore I can’t be part of the Monaco Diamond League.

    "I don’t have any symptoms and I was actually in great shape. I wish to thank Monaco for all the work they have done and I wish them and my colleagues a wonderful competition. Athletics is back and I will be back as well," the athlete stated. 

    Conseslus Kipruto (left) wins gold at the World Championships in Doha, Qatar in October 2019

    Ethiopian marathon legend Kenenisa Bekele is set to challenge Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge for the World Record when the two clash in London, UK on Sunday, October 4.

    Kipchoge holds the official world marathon record of 2:01:39 with Bekele coming second only two seconds shy. Kipchoge also holds the unofficial record of 1:59:40 after breaking the two-hour barrier in Vienna, Austria on October 12, 2019.

    Kipchoge rallied the world to support the two athletes and other elites in the historic UK race, which will be the first-ever marathon to be held after the Covid-19 pandemic broke out.

    "Although it’s a sad day for the London Marathon and all of the runners who normally run the race together with me, I am happy to be coming back to London for the 40th race. You may not be running with me or cheering me on from the streets, but in our minds, we run together," Kipchoge tweeted on Friday, August 7. 

    Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia, Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya and Edwin Cheruiyot Soi of Kenya compete in the Men's 5000m Final in Beijing, China 2008 Olympic Games on August 23, 2008

    The race was postponed from April 2020 and under the new guidelines, will not feature a mass race; it will be an elite-only event.

    Athletes will race on an enclosed looped course in St James’s Park, the football stadium for Newcastle United. 

    Bekele vowed to beat Kipchoge's record and trounce him in the race, adding that he was motivated by his Ineos 1:59 challenge. 

    "He motivated me when he ran under two hours. Competing against each other will spur us to do better. I believe in myself," Bekele stated. 

    Kipchoge has won all four races against Bekele. However, the Ethiopian has the better head-to-head record across all distances and surfaces.

    Kenya's world record-holder Brigid Kosgei will also be competing in the women's event. The eight-hour event will be televised live. 

    Watch Kipchoge shutter the Ineos 1:59 challenge