World record-holder Eliud Kipchoge on Thursday took to social media to express his disappointment over the cancellation of the 2020 London Marathon amid coronavirus outbreak.
According to the event organizers, the 40th edition of the race, which was due to take place on April 26, will now be held on October 4.
Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele were among the men’s elite names due to take part, as was women’s record-holder Brigid Kosgei.
Following the postponement, the fastest marathon runner immediately expressed his disappointment, sharing a photo of himself crossing the line of the 2019 London Marathon, with a caption:
“It is unfortunate news that the @londonmarathon has been postponed but I fully respect the decision made by the organization as safeguarding the health of the world always takes our top priority.”
He also shared a message of positivity to all the runners disappointed by the news.
“To the thousands of runners who with me, have devoted the last months of our lives towards this goal I would like to say: Be proud of the work you have put into this journey, keep smiling and seek your next goal on the horizon to continue running in a smooth and positive way. I hope to share the starting line with you again soon,” he added.
The decision comes three days after the Ministry of Sports banned Kenyan athletes from travelling to any international Sports events for the next 30 days following the global outbreak of Covid-19 (coronavirus).
Already a number of other high-profile sporting events, including marathons in Paris and Boston, have been called off due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The decision to push this year’s London Marathon to October 4, means the race will now take place on the same day as the Cardiff Half Marathon.
The event director Hugh Brasher, claimed ‘public health and wellness is everybody’s concern’ as the globe ‘faces a worldwide pandemic of Covid-19.’
“The world is in an unprecedented situation, grappling with a global pandemic of Covid-19 and public health is everyone’s priority,” Event director Hugh Brasher said:
“We know how disappointing this news will be for so many – the runners who have trained for many months, the thousands of charities for which they are raising funds and the millions who watch the race every year.
“We are extremely grateful for all the support we have received from City Hall, the London boroughs of Greenwich, Lewisham, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, the City of Westminster and the City of London, Transport for London, the emergency services, the Royal Parks, BBC TV and many others as we worked to find an alternative date.
“The 40th race is scheduled to go ahead on Sunday, October 4, 2020.”