Eliud Kipchoge will defend his title at the 2020 London Marathon

World Athlete of the Year Eliud Kipchoge will defend his title at the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon, a World Athletics Platinum event, set to take place in the British capital on 26 April.

Kipchoge, who earlier this year became the first person to cover 42.195km within two hours, has his sights set on continuing his incredible streak of record-breaking performances at what will be the 40th edition of the London Marathon.

In September last year he set an official world record of 2:01:39 in Berlin, then in April earlier this year he smashed his own course record to win in London in 2:02:37. The Olympic champion from Kenya will be aiming to become the first person to win five London Marathon titles.

Kipchoge is currently tied with Ingrid Kristiansen in the London Marathon history books for the most wins by an able-bodied athlete. The Norwegian great won four London Marathon titles between 1984 and 1988.

If Kipchoge continues his unbeaten run at the London Marathon next April – where he won in 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019 – he will surpass Kristiansen’s tally.

“I am delighted to be returning to the Virgin Money London Marathon in 2020,” said Kipchoge. “I love running in London where the crowd support is always wonderful. Breaking the two-hour barrier in Vienna was an incredible moment. It showed that no human is limited and that is a belief that continues to drive me on to set new objectives.

“Making history in London is my next target. I am proud that I am currently the only male able-bodied athlete to have won this great race four times and that no one, male or female, has won it more than that.

“Eliud Kipchoge is the greatest marathon runner of all time,” said event director Hugh Brasher. “Eliud’s belief that no human is limited resonated with millions in every walk of life and we are delighted that this extraordinary and truly inspirational man will be part of the 40th race.”

Kipchoge was given the highest honour of Kenya following his performance in Vienna, the Elder of the Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya (EGH).

As well as his four Virgin Money London Marathon titles and the Olympic gold medal he won in Rio in 2016, Kipchoge has also won the Berlin Marathon on three occasions and the Chicago Marathon once. In addition, he has won the overall Abbott World Major Marathon series titles four times.

He is the first of the elite runners to be announced for the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon. Further names will be revealed in January.


posted Sunday December 15th