London on the World Stage

He lined up ready to go Sunday morning in London.

Little to be expected but very much accepted, Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge would become the second fastest marathoner in history.

Kipchoge’s 2:03:05 not only puts him second on the marathon world record book, but it could very well give him a ticketĀ in Rio this summer. According to marathonguide.com, the 2016 London marathon served as a qualifying-type race for many countries: including Kenya.

Clearly, that heightens the importance of this race. And with two of the ten fastest times on record eligible courses coming during London 2016 — it’s easy to see the athletes were out to prove their Olympic strength.

But it was long before 2:03:05 after the start that spectators knew something special was in the air. After 15k, the leaders were on pace for a 2:01:45 — which would shatter Dennis Kimetto’s 2:02:57 world record set in Berlin, 2014. Nevertheless, as was expected the pace dipped, but by halfway (1:01:24) the leaders were still on pace to set a new London record.

Now, despite the fierce pace set up by Kipchoge, he’s not guaranteed a spot on Kenya’s Olympic team. That decision, like in other nations, are made behind closed doors.

It’s a different story for British athletes who competed Saturday. A strong finish by Callum Hawkins (2:10:52) and Tsegai Tewlde (2:12:53) guarantees the two a trip to Rio this summer. Something else to note, Callum’s brother Derek (2:12:57) could also be selected (We’ll check in with that later.)

While Kipchoge is likely to be heading to the Olympics this August, one thing is certain: the back-to-back champion showed this weekend that he is not to be taken lightly moving forward into the summer months.

LONDON TOP 10

  1. Eliud Kipchoge, Kenya: 2:03:05
  2. Stanley Biwott, Kenya: 2:03:51
  3. Kenenisa Bekele, Ethiopia: 2:06:36
  4. Ghirmay Ghebreslassie, Eritrea: 2:07:46
  5. Wilson Kipsang, Kenya: 2:07:52
  6. Tilahun Regassa, Ethiopia: 2:09:47
  7. Sisay Lemma, Ethiopia: 2:10:45
  8. Callum Hawkins, Great Britain: 2:11:44
  9. Ghebre Kibrom, Eritrea: 2:11:56
  10. Yuki Sato, Japan: 2:12:14
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