Beating both Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele at the 2020 London Marathon will be an opportunity for an instant fame for the new rising stars.

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b k .jpgKenenisa Bekele and Eliud Kipchoge, photo by World Athletics.org

An amazing London marathon is coming in less than two weeks! Justin Lagat reminds us that a surprise result could bring new stars in the sport.

With the great fanfare around Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele being created ahead of the London Marathon next month, one cannot avoid asking themselves the question: What if neither of them gets to win the race?

It is hard to imagine that Kipchoge who has won almost all the 14 marathons that he has ever run since 2013, only finishing 2nd at the Berlin Marathon in 2013, will be defeated for the first time at the London Marathon. Kipchoge has continuously won the London marathon in 2015, 2016, 2018, and 2019 having missed the 2017 edition as he was running the Nike's Breaking2 project in Monza. As of now, no one should doubt who the greatest marathon runner of all time is.

On the other hand, Kenenisa Bekele just came so close to Kipchoge's world record after running 2:01:4 at the Berlin Marathon last year. This might have given him enough confidence to plan and beat Kipchoge in London, and perhaps even break the world record.

Marathon fans across the world are curious to see the two runners compete against each other on 4th October.

However, whether small or big, there is a possibility that one of the other entrants in the race could pull out a surprise on the two protagonists and win the race. It is not impossible.

Running, especially long-distance is a very competitive sport. With all the new stars rising, it can be very hard for a runner to keep being at the top forever. There were days when Paul Tergat and Haile Gebrselassie were the runners to watch out for in the major marathons, but their era is now gone.

Could we see a new generation of great marathon runners in 2020? It will be interesting to see if anyone of the other elite runners assembled for the 2020 race will find a chance to beat the two of the world's greatest long-distance runners, and what that will mean for their careers in running. One can only imagine the instant fame they will get if they get to beat both Kipchoge and Bekele in one race.



There are runners in the start list that are barely one minute slower than Kipchoge and Bekele. Mosinet Geremew has a personal best time of 2:02:55 and finished second to Kipchoge last year in London. Mule Wasihun and Sisay Lemma also have personal best times of below 2:04 for the marathon.



Most of the other competitors including Marius Kipserem, Vincent Kipchumba, Tamirat Tola, and Shura Kitata also have their personal best times having just been recorded last year, or the year before. It shows the level of competition these younger runners are currently in and their higher possibility of improving on their times.

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