The four-time Olympic champion Mo Farah from Britain has flabbergasted many in his quest to be a pacemaker in the London marathon. The race will be headlined by Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge and the trio from Ethiopia, -Kenenisa Bekele, Mule Wasihun, and Mosinet Geremew. The event will be held on a bio-secure closed course on October 4.
Others include Sisay Lemma (ETH), Tamirat Tola (ETH), Marius Kipserem (KEN), and Shura Kitata (ETH). British men in the line up include Jonny Mellor and Chris Thompson. The elite women will be headlined by world record holder Brigid Kosgei (KEN), reigning world champion Ruth Chepngetich (KEN), Former London Marathon winner Vivian Cheruiyot (KEN) and Valary Jemeli (KEN). Ethiopians Roza Dereje and Ashete Bekele will join the mix. Steph Twell with her personal best of 2:26.40 will lead domestic women.
However, it has emerged that it was race organizers who approach Farah to aid Olympic qualifiers in pacing.''London marathon has been so important to me since I was schoolboy and when I was asked to do this, I thought it would be great to help,'' said Farah, who has abandon marathon this year in preparation to defend his Olympic title in next year Tokyo Olympics.
But before the London marathon, Farah will be attempting a one-hour world record on 4th September at AG-memorial van Damme in Brussels. The record is held by the legend -Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia. Athletes try to cover as much distance as possible in an hour, Haile's distance of 21.285km is regarded as a world record. Sondre Moen of Norway recently broke the European hour record by running 21.132km.
Yet the ability by Ugandan Joshua Chepteigei to break 5000m world record recently is seen as a blow to Farah in his return to the track. Currently, Cheptegei is red hot both in 5000m and 10000m, meaning next year Olympic games will not be a walk in the park for Mo Farah to defend his titles. But the strategy will play a critical role between the two, Cheptegei thrives well in faster pace while Farah bank on his ferocious finishing power.
Athletics pundits, however, believe that the hibernation by Farah in the marathon is a strategy aimed at enabling him to bounce back later in a mighty way. At the moment Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele seem indomitable in marathon running. Half-marathon record holder Geoffry kapngoror has been using these tactics before, he sometimes forgoes marathon and concentrates on the half marathon cross country and track.