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London 2020 will not see a Kipchoge–Bekele matchup

The 2020 London Marathon features a strong line up, but it's missing the one match up we really wanted to see

Kenenisa Bekele

Update: Bekele was a late addition to the London elite line up. The new story can be found here

Eliud Kipchoge announced in December that he would be running the 2020 London Marathon but until today it was not known who he would face. It turns out that the men’s lineup is almost as strong as the women’s but is missing one key player: Kenenisa Bekele.

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Bekele finished the 2019 Berlin Marathon race just two seconds shy of Kipchoge’s world record, and seeing the two race head-to-head would’ve been special.


The 2020 London Marathon will see the entire podium from the 2019 race returning. They announced on Tuesday morning that Mosinet Geremew and Mule Wasihun, the Ethiopian duo, would be vying for first place again in 2020.

The 2019 event saw a fast finish–one of the fastest ever, with both second and third place finishing in PBs. Kipchoge finished in 2:02:37, just over a minute off his world record.

Since London 2019, Kipchoge became the first person to run a sub-two-hour marathon at the INEOS 1:59 Challenge. Through halfway, the runners were right on pace, coming through at 59:35, well ahead of Kipchoge’s 59:57 half at Breaking2 in 2017. The runner clicked off 1K splits like a metronome, never deviating from his 2:50 pace by more than two seconds. He finished in 1:59:40.

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The complete elite field

Eliud Kipchoge – 2:01:39 (WR)
Mosinet Geremew – 2:02:55 (fifth-fastest all time)
Mule Wasihun – 2:03:16 (11th-fastest all time)
Tamirat Tola – 2:04:06
Marius Kipserem – 2:04:11
Shura Kitata – 2:04:49
Vincent Kipchumba – 2:05:09
Sondre Moen – 2:05:48
Gideon Kipketer – 2:05:51
Yassine Radchik – 2:08:05
Jack Rayner – 2:11:06

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