London Marathon 2020: Eliud Kipchoge says race can bring hope to the world

London Marathon 2020: Eliud Kipchoge says race can bring hope to the world

Eliud Kipchoge
Kipchoge, like all athletes, was tested for coronavirus before departing for and on arrival in London
Date: Sunday 4 October Time: 07:15 BST (elite women), 10:15 BST (elite men), 13:12 BST Venue: St James’s Park, London
Coverage: Live video and text coverage on BBC One, BBC Two and online from 07:00 BST

Kenya’s four-time winner and world record holder Eliud Kipchoge says this year’s unique edition of the London Marathon “can bring hope to the world”.

The race will be run over 19 laps of a closed course, screened from public view, as part of Covid-19 measures.

The mass participation element of the race will be run ‘virtually’ with only the elite fields gathering in London.

“We can bring hope to the world that we can train behind the scenes and come back in a strong way,” said Kipchoge.

Asked about his chances of retaining his title, Kipchoge replied: “Absolutely I am confident. I am ready and fit to run.”

Kipchoge admitted that that the absence of a crowd, which usually numbers tens of thousands, would make a “huge, huge difference” to the event.

The 35-year-old will be taking on Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele, who was just two seconds off his rival’s world record in Berlin last year, in a keenly anticipated duel.

The pair have been backed by event director Hugh Brasher to bring the best out of each other despite the forecast wet weather.

“Whatever the conditions, we believe there will be some incredible racing that will live long in people’s memories,” said Brasher. “It could be incredibly quick.”

Mo Farah, four-time Olympic champion, will be one the pacemakers in the race, although focused on helping a mainly British group achieve the Olympic qualifying time of two hours 11 minutes 30 seconds.

Kipchoge’s world record stands at 2:01:39.

His landmark sub-two hour marathon in Austria last year is not classified as a record because of the nature of the pace-making help and other assistance he received in the time-trial event.

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