Kenya's Dennis Kimetto and Wilson Kipsang to clash in London marathon
Nairobi, Jan 9 (IANS)
No love will be lost between Dennis Kimetto and Wilson Kipsang when the world's two fastest road racers join at the London Marathon April 26. The duo are part of an elite field announced that includes the three quickest marathon runners of all time, five of the world's all-time top-10 and a total of eight athletes who have run sub-two hours and five minutes, reports Xinhua.
Kipsang and Kimetto have something to prove to each other, which will inspire their running and boost their chances of making the Kenya team to the World Marathon Championships in Beijing in August.
"I broke Wilson's world record in Berlin last year and now I want his London Marathon crown," Kimetto said Friday.
"I am relishing the chance to face my friend over the famous course. I know it won't be easy, but I am confident I can go the distance whatever he throws at me," he said.
Former world record holder Kipsang will defend his London Marathon title against fellow Kenyan Kimetto, the man who made history last year when he broke his record to become the first man ever to run the 42km distance in less than two hours and three minutes.
Kimetto, who clocked two hours and 02. 57 minutes in last September's Berlin Marathon, will make his London Marathon debut in April, while Kipsang takes on the iconic course for the fourth time, having won in 2012 and 2014.
The two are training partners in the Kenyan town of Iten but have never faced each other in a marathon.
Kipsang, who set the former world record of two hours and 03. 23 minutes at the Berlin Marathon in 2013, broke the London course record last year when he won in two hours and 04.29 minutes.
Now he is aiming to become only the fourth man in the event's 35-year history to claim a hat-trick of London titles.
"Having the current and former world record holders in the same race, going stride for stride for the first time, is a real coup for us," said London Marathon race director Hugh Brasher.