Eliud Kipchoge finishes the race in the Berlin Marathon, in Berlin, Germany, 16 September 2018. Photo: EPA/Hayoung Jeon

LONDON – Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge will be the favourite in the men’s race of the London Marathon on Sunday.

The world record holder in the marathon and four-time London Marathon champion is peerless in his achievements in the 42.2km event.

In 2018, after several previous record attempts were thwarted for various reasons, everything finally fell into place for Kipchoge as he clocked 2:01:39 at the Berlin Marathon in September, smashing the world record by 78 seconds – the biggest single improvement on a men’s marathon world record since 1967.

For someone who back in 2003 seemed to emerge almost overnight to become one of the world’s elite, Kipchoge has shown over the past 16 years that he is in it for the long haul.

His world Under-20 cross-country title in 2003 was followed five months later by winning the senior world 5 000m title in Paris, beating distance greats Kenenisa Bekele (ETH) and Hicham El Guerrouj (MOR) in an unforgettable race.

But despite the magnitude of that achievement, few would have predicted that Kipchoge would go on to achieve all that he has done.

His Olympic gold medal in 2016 and his recent world marathon record of 2:01:39 were simply the culmination of two long-term relationships he has maintained since his early days in the sport.

He has won 11 of the 12 marathons he’s competed in, a simply remarkable feat in itself.

ipchoge will have some heavy competition though as Kenyan Daniel Wanjiru, together with Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele will also be gunning for the win.

Wanjiru and Bekele also happen to be the second and third fastest men over the marathon in history, so if anyone can challenge Kipchoge it will be this pair. 

Not to be discounted will be Ethiopian Shura Kitata and England’s Somali-born Mo Farah. Kitata was second in 2018, with Farah third. 

African News Agency (ANA)