London Marathon Men's Preview: Eliud Kipchoge Could Break World Record

The only athletic accomplishment that reigning Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge has left to garner is an official world record in the marathon. His 2:00:25 at the Nike Breaking2 Event in Monza last May didn't count for official record-keeping, but the race did prove he is more than capable of bettering Dennis Kimetto's 2:02:57 world record—given the conditions are cooperative.

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According to Cathal Dennehy of Runner's World, Kipchoge's coach, Patrick Kipsang, said his athlete will break the world record on Sunday, though all the man himself would offer was, "I hope to run a very beautiful race."

Despite temperatures that are projected to peak at 72 degrees Fahrenheit on race day, the prospects for Kipchoge's mission look strong as he should have plenty of help along the way. 

The highly qualified field includes Kenenisa Bekele, whose 2:03:03 PB is the second-fastest of all time; Guye Adola, the unknown who not only challenged but passed and gapped Kipchoge at last fall's Berlin Marathon and ran 2:03:46 in his debut; Daniel Wanjiru (2:05:21 PB), the defending champion in London; Abel Kirui (2:05:04 PB), a two-time world champion in the marathon in 2009 and 2011 who finished fourth here last year; and Ghirmay Ghebreslassie (2:07:46 PB), the 2015 world champion who placed sixth in London last year.


There's also Mo Farah, who is making somewhat of a second "debut" in the marathon now that he has fully transitioned from the track to the roads. The 35-year-old Farah, who collected 10 Olympic and world championships gold medals in his vibrant track career, has made one other appearance in the marathon at the 2014 London race, where he placed eighth in 2:08:21. 

In light of a potential world record run from Kipchoge, Farah has been vocal about his own slightly lower aspirations for London, telling reporters his goal is to take down Steve Jones' British record of 2:07:13. The European record of 2:05:48 is also possible, but while Farah told The Telegraph he is 2:04 or even 2:03 shape, he does not think that time will fall in London due to what might become a tactical affair to make the podium.

We'd certainly pick Kipchoge over the field at this juncture, as the 33-year-old has not lost a marathon since finishing runner-up at the 2013 Berlin Marathon, where Wilson Kipsang set what was then the world record of 2:03:23. 

Of the field, Adola seems the most likely to give him a run for his money again; Bekele does not have a great track record as of late with two DNFs in three marathons in 2017, and while Farah certainly could out-perform his potential, the 35-year-old is still fairly new to the distance. 

Read notes from the London Marathon men's press conference here.

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