Family, friends eagerly awaiting for Sunday's battle of titans
While most would argue Eliud Kipchoge is a better runner on paper, Kenenisa Bekele poses a threat considering his feats in the short distance races. [Photo: Courtesy]

The fierce battle between world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge and Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele at the London Marathon on Sunday is no a much-awaited showdown

Family, coaches and fans of Kenyans competing in the United Kingdom’s flagship race will be glued to TV sets from 10:15am.

Excitement and expectation among fans is high as the two men square it out in what is billed as the race of the year.

As usual, such a big clash will see Governors from North Rift region in Jackson Mandago (Uasin Gishu), Alex Tolgos (Elgeyo Marakwet) and Stephen Sang (Nandi) join electric crowds in towns to rally behind “one of our own.”

Police and health officers will certainly face hectic moments to ensure social distance in sports joints and hotels where fans flock to watch the action.

Mandago has promised to join fans following the action in LED big screens in Eldoret town.

“Eldoret is a sporting town. We all witnessed the crowd, mood and excitement when we hosted fans during the Ineos 1:59 Challenge and earlier on when Eliud Kipchoge broke the world marathon record in Berlin. 

“We are excited to host viewing of Kip Keino Classic and London Marathon in downtown. 

“My administration uses sports to promote environmental conservation through Eldoret City Marathon. For an athlete to prepare well they need clean air and high altitude like in Kaptagat and Chagaiya areas of Uasin Gishu County.

“That is why Eldoret City Marathon is the best event to raise awareness and funds for afforestation and environmental conservation,” said Mandago.

Family, friends eagerly awaiting for Sunday's battle of titans
Eliud Kipchoge’s mother Janet Rotich celebrates with neighbours at her home in Kapsisiywa, Nandi County. 12.10.2019. [PHOTO BY KEVIN TUNOI]

The contest will further narrow down to Kipchoge’s rural home Kipchoge. Fans will throng Kimondi and Kapsisiywo shopping centres near Kipchoge’s home. Villagers, some of them Kipchoge’s classmates at the nearby Kaptel High School, will be watching.

Isuzu East Africa will stage a live screening session of the London Marathon at Sirikwa Hotel in Eldoret tomorrow. Isuzu will be hosting Kipchoge’s wife Grace and family members.

Nandi County Executive for Sports Elly Kurgat said there will be no designated viewing points in Nandi.

He said local leaders from Nandi will join Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala and other regional to watch the marathon in Eldoret. 

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