2019 London Marathon Men’s Elite Preview: A Clash Of Champions
Olympic marathon champion and world record holder Eliud Kipchoge will defend his Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 28 against Britain’s Mo Farah.
Olympic marathon champion and world record holder Eliud Kipchoge will defend his Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 28 in a ‘clash of champions’ against Britain’s Mo Farah who is a four-time Olympic champion on the track.
Joining them will be former world record holder and 2015 Champion Wilson Kipsang and Ethiopians trio of Shura Kitata, Mosinet Geremew, and Leul Gebresilasie.
World Half Marathon record holder Abraham Kiptum and former London Marathon champion Daniel Wanjiru will also be in the race.
Ethiopia’s Kitata came closest last year when he finished runner-up before going on to place second in the 2018 New York City Marathon.
But despite a tough opposition lined up to deter him, Kipchoge is confident that he can defend his title and become the first man to achieve a quartet of victories in London.
“[Having the best runners in the world here] is a blast for the sport and for the fans. I am coming to London to win the race and defend my title. If I can win again in London, I will be a happy man because it will be my first race after running the world record. London is crucial in my career. I’m coming here to try to win the race but the world record is out of my mind right now,” Kipchoge told the organizers ahead of Sunday’s race
He continued: “Sport is sport; sport is about enjoyment about participating. Anybody can be beaten – Mo can beat me, others can beat me, but the best thing is that if you can accept the results, that’s the only way to enjoy the sport. I’m really surprised that [Mo] is learning so fast. As far as the sport is concerned, he is a fast learner. It doesn’t worry me, but it makes me get interested in him because that’s what you want in sport; it’s what helps you perform.”
36-year-old Mo Farah has undergone a successful transition to the road, finished third in London last year. He has since registered his maiden marathon win with victory in Chicago last October, where he also set a new European record.
“My aim is to win the London Marathon one day, that is my task, but you can’t take anything for granted because Eliud is a great athlete, and if I do beat him it would be an amazing achievement.”
“I’m learning as I go along. The marathon is completely different to track – and racing against Eliud in London last year felt like having to learn the hard way – but I believe I did learn a lot.”
Victory for either Kipchoge or Farah in London could seal the Abbott World Marathon Majors Series XII prize, a title Kipchoge has already won three times in a row.
But despite all accolades won in the past by the two men, they will have to live in the present when they set their feet on starting line well aware that past achievements count for nothing.