Ethiopia’s Birhanu Legese, the third fastest man in the world will be the man to watch at the 41st edition of the London Marathon that will be held on 3rd October in London.
The 27 years-old, set his best time when he won the 2019 Berlin Marathon in a time of 2:02.48 and he hopes the return of the crowd this year will help him make history.
“It depends on the weather on the day. If the weather is good, I plan to break the record and that is my target now. This is what I am preparing for,” the Ethiopian warned.
“We are pleased now everything is returning back to normal and we look forward to see the cheering of the crowd on the straight end. It will make us very happy.”
Legese will also face Evans Chebet from Kenya who was the surprise winner of Valencia marathon last year as he will be making his debut at the World Marathon major’s race in London after missing out on Olympics.
The Kenyan will run the 26.2-mile course for the first time and hope to play his part in a long-standing rivalry with the Ethiopian runners, the only athletes from the two countries winning the event since 2002.
“The rivalry is there and I know the Ethiopians are used to staying behind a bit and kicking on for the last 200 or 300 metres. It will be a challenging race and I know I will need a lot of strength at the end to win.
“If Eliud is watching on Sunday, it will give me more courage to run faster but I have my times already and the goal is just to go for a personal best, Chebet said.
“For 2:02 or 2:03 maybe depending on condition but I am looking forward to the race. Eliud gives morale but I have my own interest and motivation to win.”
Kipchoge’s last win in London in 2019 saw the Kenyan break the course record to post a time of 2:02.37. Meanwhile, it has been confirmed pacemakers will be involved on Sunday.
“There are pacemakers in the elite races as usual,” a London Marathon spokesman said.
“There will, however, be no pacers in the mass event as part of our Covid mitigation’s and this has been communicated to all participants.”
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