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Will Kelvin Kiptum beat the world's best marathon runners in London?

April 22, 2023
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Kelvin Kiptum at the London Marathon Preess Conference. Photo Courtesy of Abbott World Marathon Majors
Kelvin Kiptum at the London Marathon Press Conference. Photo Courtesy of Abbott World Marathon Majors

Kelvin Kiptum's debut marathon time of 2:01:53 was one of the most outstanding performances in the marathon last year. His time remains the fastest-ever marathon debut in history, and as he faces one of the deepest-ever assembled men's elite fields in London this Sunday, it remains to be seen whether the third-fastest runner in history will maintain his stature as the new emerging king of the marathon event.

During the press conference on Thursday, Kiptum said he had been aiming for something around 2:03 when he took on the 2022 Valencia Marathon. Instead, he clocked 2:01:53 to move to third on the all-time list and become the fastest marathon debutant in history. This is according to an article on the World Marathon Majors website: SPEEDSTER KIPTUM SETS SIGHTS ON LONDON

Is Kelvin Kiptum the next Kipchoge?

No one knows when Eliud Kipchoge’s reign in the men’s marathon distance will end. Of course, he could bounce back after his sixth-place finish at the Boston Marathon. Nevertheless, the talk about the next Kipchoge is already rife, and the London Marathon on Sunday (23rd) will provide a stage for other great distance runners to prove their worth in becoming the “next in line.”

Much focus will be on Kenya’s 24-year-old Kelvin Kiptum, who surprised the world with his fantastic marathon debut at the Valencia Marathon in December last year. This will be his first time running a world marathon majors’ event, and given his age, he is most likely yet to reach his peak in running.

One of the greatest runners to be beaten by the new generation will be Ethiopia’s legendary runner, Kenenisa Bekele. Bekele has the fastest personal best time of 2:01:41, which is also the second fastest time in history, a time he set in September 2019 at the Berlin Marathon. However, his performances in the marathon event have often been as unpredictable as the weather at the Boston Marathon (one of the two world Marathon majors he is yet to run).

Defending champion Amos Kipruto has a personal best time of 2:03:13 set in Tokyo last year and will have a great competition as he hopes to defend his 2022 London Marathon title in one of the deepest fields ever assembled for the iconic race. However, his training mates, Evans Chebet and Benson Kipruto, already performed well at the Boston Marathon and could boost his morale ahead of the race.

Another Kenyan to watch is Geoffrey Kamworor. He has had a great cross country season, finishing fourth at the World Athletics Cross Country championships in Bathurst, Australia, in February. He could transfer the speed he gained in his preparations for the global event and post a good time in London.

Read the rest of the article at RunBlogRun: Will experienced marathon runners hand over to the younger generation in London?

The women's race

The Ethiopian runners in the women’s elite field, led by the defending champion Yalemzerf Yehualaw who has a personal best time of 2:17:23, are relatively new and strong stars who just moved into the marathon event but show great potential in dominating it in the near future.

However, with Kenya’s reigning Olympic Marathon Champion, Peres Jepchirchir and the world record holder, Brigid Kosgei, the chances of winning look grim.

One runner to keep a close watch on is Tigist Assefa, who registered a new Ethiopian record of 2:15:37 to win the Berlin Marathon last year. The other Ethiopian is Almaz Ayana, who successfully entered the marathon scene last year with a 2:17:20 to win the Amsterdam Marathon.

Also worth watching out for is multiple Olympic and world 10,000m/5000m runner,  Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands as she makes her marathon debut.

If you need to be coached online by a Kenyan coach, check out how you can enrol here: Kenyan Marathon and Distance Running Training Packages

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