Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele has been confirmed to participate in the 2023 London Marathon elite men’s race that will have four of the five fastest men in marathon history on the Start Line, APA can report on Wednesday.Bekele, the second-fastest man ever with a PB of 2:01:41, will take on Kenya’s Kelvin Kiptum, the winner of the 2022 Valencia Marathon and the fastest marathon debutant in history (2:01:53), in the 23 April race.
Their participation will be a landmark occasion when, for the first time in history, two men who have run inside 2:02 will be together on the same Start Line.
In addition, Ethiopian duo Birhanu Legese (2:02:48) and Mosinet Geremew (2:02:55) will also be in the marathon field, seeing four of the five fastest men in marathon history go head-to-head.
Also in the field are the defending champion Amos Kipruto of Kenya and world champion Tamirat Tola of Ethiopia along with Olympic champion Mo Farah and two-time New York Marathon winner Geoffrey Kamworor.
Kipruto’s win at last year’s TCS London Marathon was his first Abbott World Marathon Major triumph and was his “incredible experience.”
“I am now preparing hard for this year’s race and I can’t wait to return to London as the champion,” the Kenyan said. “London always has a really strong field and this year is the same so I know I will face a battle to defend my title, but I’m confident and looking forward to it,” he added.
Tola, who won the 2022 World Championships marathon in Oregon, will be one of several men aiming to prevent Kipruto from winning back-to-back titles.
The 31-year-old Ethiopian is in a fine run of form, winning the 2021 Amsterdam Marathon and finishing third at the 2022 Tokyo Marathon (behind Kipchoge and Kipruto) before winning his world title last summer.