I will be running in London Marathon to give hope- Kipchoge
- World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge has said he will be competing at the London Marathon in a bid to give hope that the fight against Covid-19 will be ultimately won.
- On Thursday, organisers confirmed the rescheduled race will proceed as planned on October 4 but will only involve elite athletes due to Covid-19 fears.
- The 40th edition of the race was initially set for April 26 before it was postponed owing to the virus.
World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge has said he will be competing at the London Marathon in a bid to give hope that the fight against Covid-19 will be ultimately won.
On Thursday, organisers confirmed the rescheduled race will proceed as planned on October 4 but will only involve elite athletes due to Covid-19 fears.
The 40th edition of the race was initially set for April 26 before it was postponed owing to the virus.
While speaking on Saturday during a sports tourism webinar organised by the Ministry of Tourism, Kipchoge said he was excited to defend his title at the English capital.
“This year’s marathon will be different to the previous editions in many ways but for me it is important that I am going back to London and run again to give hope to the whole world that this thing (coronavirus) cannot stop us,” said Kipchoge.
Unlike in the previous editions where the race is held in the largely flat course around River Thames, this year’s event will take place on enclosed looped course in St James’s Park in a secure biosphere.
The Olympic champion will be hunting for a fifth title and will face off with Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele, with the duo being the only athletes to run a marathon race in under two hours, two minutes.
While the world might be focusing on the clash between the two fastest marathoners, Kipchoge has remained coy on the clash.
“I will be respecting all the participants in the race, and not focus on one person. Above all, I treat myself as the best and so I am going to run as Eliud Kipchoge,” said Kipchoge.
With barely two months to the race, Kipchoge said he is progressing well in his training.
“For the last three months I have been training alone but for the last three weeks we have tried to consolidate our team to 10 people as we also follow the government guidelines. I think at the moment I am in a good shape but with two months to go I will be in a much better shape,” he said.
Kenya Tourism Board named Kipchoge as its destination ambassador and will thus promote Kenya as a preferred tourism destination both locally, regionally and internationally through various campaigns.
Kipchoge was joined in the webinar by Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala, the United Kingdom High Commissioner to Kenya, Jane Marriott, Kenya’s High Commissioner to the U.K. Manoah Esipisu, Narok County Governor Samuel Tunai and later by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The athlete toured the Maasai Mara Game reserve to witness the historic migration of the wildebeest.
Kipchoge explained that he is honoured to promote the country as a tourist attraction.
“Apart from competing in London, I will be carrying a message that Kenya is a beautiful, safe and an open country. I am actually going to urge people to visit Kenya because Kenya has the best people and wildlife in the whole world,” said Kipchoge.
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