The last two winners of the London Marathon, Kenyan Wilson Kipsang and Eliud Kipchoge, will be challenged to defend their previous titles by Eritrea’s teenage hero Ghirmay Ghebreslassie during this years Virgin Money London Marathon in April.
Ghirmay Ghebreslassie, became the youngest-ever world marathon champion at 19 years old during the 15th IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Bejing last year.
Ghebreslassie, who won the second ever world championship medal for Eritrea after Tadesse Zersenay’s 10,000m silver in Berlin in 2009, makes his first appearance in London alongside four other athletes from Eritrea.
He will be joined by his fellow countrymen – former Eritrean record holder Samuel Tsegay; Ghebrezgiabhier Kibrom, who finished eighth last year; Amanuel Mesel, who was ninth in Beijing; and Tewelde Estifanos, last year’s champion at the Oita Marathon in Japan.
Where there is Eritrea and Kenya, there’s Ethiopia not far away with triple Olympic gold medallist and multi-world record breaking track champion, Kenenisa Bekele, Tilahun Regassa, who was fifth here last year, Endeshaw Negesse, the 2015 Tokyo Marathon champion and Rotterdam winner Abera Kuma.
Virgin Money London Marathon Event Director Hugh Brasher said: “After such a fantastic finish to last year’s race, and a brilliant champion in Eliud Kipchoge, we can only hope for more of the same in 2016.
Last year, a record 38,000 people took part in the London Marathon, making it the biggest in the event’s 35-year history.