The long-awaited duel will not take place. Sunday, the London marathon was to pit the two fastest runners in the history of the specialty: Eliud Kipchoge and his compatriot Kenenisa Bekele. Unfortunately for the organizers, the second announced Friday that a pain in the left calf left him no choice but to give up. Kipchoge, world record holder in the marathon since his victory in Berlin two years ago in a phenomenal time of 2:01:39 ”, will therefore be the only one on the track, Sunday in London. Bekele, second best time of all time (2h01’41 ”), again on the occasion of his success in the Berlin marathon, but a year after Kipchoge, will be content, for his part, to follow the performance as a spectator. of his rival and Kenyan like him. A real heartbreak for the 38-year-old champion, who obviously did not imagine things like this at all. “I am very disappointed not to be able to run on Sunday. It was such an important race, he admits. My time in Berlin last year gave me confidence and motivation and I wanted to show a similar level once again. I am disappointed to disappoint my supporters, the organizers and my opponents ”, did not hide the three-time Olympic champion and five-time world champion over 5,000 and 10,000 m, Friday after announcing his withdrawal.
Bekele: “I really thought I would be up and running, but it got worse”
All the more difficult for Bekele to digest as he had prepared himself especially for this duel against Kipchoge. Until this injury ruined everything. “The preparation was complicated during the confinement where I did not have my usual team around me. I was in good shape but felt a pain in my calf after two speed sessions too close to each other in my last weeks of preparation. I had since been on daily treatment and really thought I would be up and running but today (Friday) it got worse and now I know I won’t be able to run. »An appointment has already been made, however. “I hope to be back next year in London”, hopes the great absentee from this 2020 London marathon which will be played behind closed doors and on a loop only, around Saint James’s Park.