Paris 2024: Kenenisa Bekele to meet Eliud Kipchoge again in marathon

Paris 2024: Kenenisa Bekele to meet Eliud Kipchoge again in marathon
Fecha de publicación: 
17 May 2024
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Twelve years since he made his last Olympic appearance on the track in London, distance running great Kenenisa Bekele has been selected to run the marathon for Ethiopia at Paris 2024.

Bekele, who turns 42 in June, finished second in April's London Marathon behind Kenya's Alexander Mutiso Munyao with the two breaking clear inside the final 10km. The veteran's last marathon win came at Berlin in 2019 when he set an Ethiopian record of 2:01:41. Only Eliud Kipchoge and the late Kelvin Kiptum have run quicker.

With three Olympic golds, five world titles on the track and 11 wins at the World Cross Country Championships, Bekele is one of the greatest long-distance runners in history. He won 10,000m gold at Athens 2004 before being denied in the 5000m by Moroccan star Hicham El Guerrouj with world champion Kipchoge taking bronze. At Beijing 2008, he kicked clear of Kipchoge on the final lap of the 5000m to complete the first long-distance double at the Games since compatriot Miruts Yifter at Moscow 1980.

After finishing fourth in the London 2012 10,000m, Bekele missed out on the last two Games having switched to the marathon in 2014. He won on debut in Paris with his other triumphs coming in Berlin (2016 and 2019). Kipchoge will be one of his opponents this time in the French capital as the Kenyan bids for a third consecutive marathon gold. While Bekele won the majority of their meetings on the track, Kipchoge has won all three of their previous marathon encounters.

Joining Bekele in the Ethiopian men's marathon team are recent Boston winner Sisay Lemma and Deresa Geleta who claimed the Seville Marathon in February. Former world champion Tamirat Tola, who failed to finish in London last month, and Eusedin Mohammed are the two reserves.

World record holder Tigst Assefa heads the women's team after she was outsprinted by Peres Jepchirchir in London. She is joined by 2023 world champion Amane Beriso, and Megertu Alemu who was second in London last year before finishing fourth last month. The reserves are 2022 world champion Gotytom Gebreslase and Buze Diriba.

The men's marathon at Paris 2024 takes place on Saturday 10 August with the women's - the final athletes event of the Games - the following day.

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