London Marathon 2023: Four of five fastest men in history named in star-studded field

Eliud Kipchoge, the world record holder, is absent from the start list for the event

Harry Latham-Coyle
Wednesday 01 February 2023 12:01 GMT
Kenenisa Bekele is among a strong field for the 2023 London Marathon
Kenenisa Bekele is among a strong field for the 2023 London Marathon (Getty Images)

Four of the five fastest men in history will compete at the 2023 London Marathon in April.

Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele, a three-time Olympic champion and the second fastest marathon runner in history, headlines a star-studded field that also includes compatriots Birhanu Legese and Mosinet Geremew.

While world record holder Eliud Kipchoge is absent, Kenyan Kelvin Kiptum is also on the start list, along with defending champion Amos Kipruto.

“I can’t wait to return to London as the champion,” said Kenya’s Kipruto.

“London always has a really strong field and this year is the same so I know I will face a battle to defend my title, but I’m confident and looking forward to it.”

Mo Farah is preparing for an “emotional goodbye” to the event in his home city with the four-time Olympic gold medal winner expected to retire at the end of 2023.

Last year’s race was held in October due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with Kipruto out-lasting Ethiopia’s Leul Gebresilase to claim his first major marathon crown by more than 30 seconds.

Bekele, participating for the fifth time in an event he has never won, finished fifth.

In the 40-year-old Ethiopian and Kiptum, there are two men who have run the 26.2 mile distance inside two hours and two minutes in the field for the first time in marathon history.

Rising star Kiptum, 23, ran the fastest marathon debut ever in Valencia in December.

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