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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenyan StanleyBiwott will face Kenenisa Bekele
and Eliud Kipchoge in quest for London marathon

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Former New York Marathon winner Stanley Biwott of Kenya has been added to the London marathon men’s line-up along with Ethiopia’s Guye Adola.

The London marathon will be held on April 22 and the two will join defending champion Daniel Wanjiru, Olympic and Berlin champion Eliud Kipchoge both of Kenya and Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele.

Adola finished second in the Berlin Marathon last year behind Kipchoge in 2:03:46 for the fastest ever marathon debut.

Biwott, the 2015 New York City Marathon champion, pushed his compatriot Kipchoge to within eight seconds of the world record at the 2016 London Marathon as the pair battled it out over the second half of the course.

“It is an honour and pleasure to run in London. There are top names lined up and I have to trust my strength to carry me through the course. It will be tough for everyone and I hope the best prepared athlete will excel,” Biwott said on Wednesday from Eldoret.

The 31-year-old finished second to Kipchoge in 2016 in 2:03:51, making him the sixth fastest marathon runner in history. It was the second time Biwott finished runner-up at the London Marathon after trailing only Wilson Kipsang in 2014.

Kipchoge gave up the title last year without a fight as he opted to run in a new Nike test event to become the first man to run under two hours in Monza Italy.

He missed the target by less than a minute. He however went on to try and break the world record in Berlin and still missed owing to bad weather. In his absence from London, Kenya’s wanjiru was crowned champion. He went on to finish fourth at the London World Marathon Championships in August.

Adola is another man who has pushed Kipchoge to the limit. The 27-year-old looked on course for a shock win at last year’s Berlin Marathon before Kipchoge recovered to win in the final miles. Adola’s time of 2:03:46 was the fastest debut marathon ever.

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