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Ethiopian great Kenenisa Bekele — considered one of if not the greatest distance runner all time — will go for the win at the 2022 TCS London Marathon. He is, however, not going for the world record.

Bekele ran the 2019 Berlin Marathon in the time of 2:01:41, just two seconds off of Eliud Kipchoge‘s world record of 2:01:39, that he ran the year prior. Bekele won that race in less than ideal conditions. Although celebrated less than his Kenyan competitor Kipchoge, two seconds in poorer weather may be a wash.

Kipchoge, having improved on that record last Sunday with his 2022 Berlin performance of 2:01:09 has now put the world record out of reach for the time being. Perhaps current world record holder Joshua Cheptegei in the 5000m (12:35.36) and 10,000m (26:11.00) events will challenge Kipchoge’s record one day.

Prior to the advent of super shoes, Bekele held both records having run 12:37.35 and 26:17.53, respectively.

Incredibly, Bekele’s success in cross-country will likely never be matched having won world titles 12 times, often doubling in the short and long races at the same meet and winning both. From U20 to senior he is the greatest cross-country runner all-time.

“Kenenisa will be in London this weekend, not for the world record, hopefully for the win,” shared Jos Hermans agent for Bekele and Kipchoge at Global Sports Communications. “He did not have perfect preparation, was a bit sick last week, but we will see what he can do.”

Two notable women have scratched in world record holder Brigid Kosgei due to a hamstring issue and Eilish McColgan, who was going to debut in London, however, she needs to recover from a very arduous and successful 2022 year of racing.

Men’s elite field

London Marathon 2022 elite men’s field

Kenenisa Bekele (ETH) 2:01:41
Birhanu Legese (ETH) 2:02:48
Mosinet Geremew (ETH) 2:02:55
Amos Kipruto (KEN) 2:03:13
Sisay Lemma (ETH) 2:03:36
Bashir Abdi (BEL) 2:03:36
Tamirat Tola (ETH) 2:03:39
Kinde Atanaw (ETH) 2:03:51
Leul Gebresilase (ETH) 2:04:12
Vincent Kipchumba (KEN) 2:04:28
Sir Mo Farah (GBR) 2:05:11
Naoki Okamoto (JPN) 2:08:04
Naoki Aiba (JPN) 2:08:44
Kohei Futaoka (JPN) 2:09:14
Chris Thompson (GBR) 2:10:52
Brett Robinson (AUS) 2:10:55
Jack Rayner (AUS) 2:11:06
Weynay Ghebresilasie (GBR) 2:12:17
Mohamud Aadan (GBR) 2:12:20
Philip Sesemann (GBR) 2:12:58
Mike Sayenko (USA) 2:13:00

Course records

Men: 2:02:37 (Eliud Kipchoge, KEN, 2019)
Women (mixed): 2:15:25 (Paula Radcliffe, GBR, 2003)
Women only: 2:17:01 (Mary Keitany, KEN, 2017)
Wheelchair men: 1:26:27 (Marcel Hug, SUI, 2021)
Wheelchair women: 1:39:52 (Manuela Schär, SUI, 2021)

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