Balala, Mandago to Join Hundreds Cheering Kipchoge

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Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala will join Governors Jackson Mandago (Uasin Gishu), Stephen Sang (Nandi) and Alex Tolgos (Elgeyo-Marakwet) to cheer Eliud Kipchoge during the London Marathon on Sunday.

The leaders will be among hundreds of athletics lovers who will follow the race on mounted screens in Eldoret town.

Kipchoge is largely expected to defend his London title after his archrival Kenenisa Bekele withdrew from the highly anticipated race citing a calf injury.

“This race was so important to me. My time in Berlin last year gave me great confidence and motivation and I was looking forward to show that again, I have worked so hard for it. I realise many people around the world have been looking forward to this race and I am sorry to disappoint my fans, the organisers and my fellow competitors,” said Bekele on Friday.

Kipchoge, the marathon world-record holder (2.01.39) set in Berlin 2018 was to face off with Bekele who holds the second fastest marathon time (2.01.41) he clocked in the same German city last year.

The race was billed as a battle of the titans and had already attracted millions of fans globally who were eager to see the two legends run against each other.

Kipchoge, had indicated he was ready for the battle.

“On Sunday, I will try to hear the cheers and the crowded streets in my mind, you will all be with us. My fifth London Marathon is a unique challenge, but one we are ready for,” said Kipchoge.

It is now expected the legend, the first marathoner to complete the 42km-race under two hours (1.59.40) in a guided in Vienna last year, will bring home the title without breaking a sweat.

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