Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge (white jersey) celebrates after busting the mythical two-hour barrier for the marathon on October 12 2019 in Vienna. [Photo by HERBERT NEUBAUER / APA / AFP]

The NN Mission Marathon that had been rescheduled for Sunday, April 11, has been pushed again as Covid-19 pandemic continues to ravage sports.

World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge was among big shots in the elite race’s line up.

The race has now been postponed to April 18 and the venue moved from Hamburg in Germany to Enschede in the Netherlands. The race was initially scheduled to take place on April 4.

The elite-only race was announced two months ago by Dutch athletics management group Global Sports Communication, the NN Running Team and the Hamburg Marathon. It is billed as a key build-up for the Tokyo Olympic Games and top marathoners have been craving to gauge their performance.

The NN Mission will be Kipchoge’s first race this year as he gears up for the delayed Olympics, where he will be defending his 2016 title.

“NN Mission Marathon will go ahead as planned on April 18 and will be moved from Hamburg to Enschede, The Netherlands, on the specially designed course on Twente Airport which will be closed for general audience,” organisers said in a statement.

[Photo: AFP]

Also in the line-up are former Commonwealth Games 5,000m champion Augustine Choge, former Olympic marathon champion Stephen Kiprotich from Uganda, Laban Korir, Jonathan Korir, and Ethiopia’s Haven Hailu while Gladys Chesir will be competing in the women category.

The event was designed to offer marathoners an opportunity to measure their performance ahead of the Olympics.

“We were quite disappointed at first, but we understand the decision given the current situation. We are now putting all our efforts into the realisation of the event at a different location and are optimistic that we will find a solution,” the organiser said.

At least 70 elite athletes are preparing to battle for honours in the race. 

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