Great athletes from around the world have done their groundwork for the London Marathon, which will be put to test on Sunday. The world’s attention, however, will be focussed on the battle royale pitting Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge and United Kingdom’s Mo Farah.
Kipchoge goes into the race as the favourite as he is the marathon world record holder and three time London Marathon winner. Farah comes into the race as the underdog but the 34-year-old Kenyan knows that the Briton is not one to be underrated especially because he will be running on home track. Farah is, therefore, a real threat to Kipchoge’s mission of attaining his fifth London Marathon title.
Kipchoge has had an amazing run in the recent past. In 2018, after several previous record attempts were thwarted for various reasons, everything finally fell into place as he clocked 2:01:39 at the Berlin Marathon in September, smashing the world record by 78 seconds – the biggest single improvement on a men’s marathon world record since 1967.
Much is expected of the Olympic champion especially after scooping many awards while still preparing for the London meet. Kipchoge has won the IAAF Male Athlete of the Year 2018, SOYA Sports Personality of the Year in Kenya and the Laureus Exceptional Achievement Award. He was also nominated for the Laureus Sportsman of the Year Award but lost it to Serbian tennis player, Novak Djokovic.
Alongside Kipchoge, Kenya will also be represented by World Half Marathon record holder Abraham Kiptum, former London Marathon champion Daniel Wanjiru and former world marathon record holder Wilson Kipsang.
Farah, on the other hand, dreams of beating Kipchoge on the streets of his home city. He will definitely have massive home support which could give him an advantage over the 2016 Olympic champion.
Speaking to the Mirror, Farah said winning the London marathon will be the best achievement of his career.
“Winning on Sunday would be massive, one of my biggest achievements,” Farah said. “If I compare that to what I achieved in my career it would definitely be up there for sure.”
Ethiopians Shura Kitata, Mosinet Geremew, and Leul Gebresilasie cannot be ruled out of producing a spectacular performance.
In the ladies race, Kenya’s representatives will be defending champion Vivian Cheruiyot, 2017 winner Mary Keitany, Chicago Marathon champion Brigid Kosgei, former 10,000m world champion Linet Masai and Berlin Marathon champion Gladys Cherono.