Bekele casts his eye on Kipchoge's London crown
Athletics Weekly|January 23, 2020
ETHIOPIAN DISTANCE GREAT IS DREAMING OF THE MARATHON WORLD RECORD AND ALSO BREAKING THE TWO-HOUR BARRIER, WRITES JESSICA WHITTINGTON
JESSICA WHITTINGTON

KENENISA BEKELE says Eliud Kipchoge’s sub-two-hour marathon in Vienna provided him with some serious motivation and the Ethiopian believes he could emulate his fellow distance running great by breaking the fabled barrier should he have a similar opportunity.

The pair are separated by just two seconds when it comes to official marathon times and both believe the world record could fall when the two titans clash at the Virgin Money London Marathon on April 26.

Kenya’s Kipchoge ran 2:01:39 in Berlin in 2018 before Bekele stormed to success in the same city 12 months later with a time of 2:01:41, but last October’s INEOS 1:59 Challenge – a non-record eligible time trial held in highly controlled conditions – saw Kipchoge make further history with his impressive 1:59:41 run.

“When Eliud Kipchoge ran under two hours in Vienna, of course it is not recognized by the IAAF, but it made me very motivated,” said Bekele. “If someone like me also gets this chance we will do a similar thing or do better.

“I believe in myself – you need the opportunity of course but some athletes will do a similar thing.”

Improving Kipchoge’s official world record and gaining a third global mark to go with his world 5000m and 10,000m records from 2004 and 2005 respectively is Bekele’s more immediate aim and achieving that in the UK capital would mean even more.

“My big dream is to break the world record and an amazing performance will happen at the London Marathon,” said the 37-year old, who has claimed three Olympic gold medals on the track as well as 17 world titles on the track, cross country and indoors.

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