Paris: Running legend Kenenisa Bekele (Pixel) It is a dubious start to the Tokyo Olympic Marathon after coming out of the Ethiopian selection race on Saturday.
The 38-year-old appears to have decided not to participate in the 35-kilometer race near the capital Addis Ababa, which London Marathon 2020 winner Chora Kitata won in 1 hour 45 minutes 55 seconds, according to the Ethiopian Federation on social media. .
World champion Lilisa Desisa trailed second, 20 seconds behind Sisay Lima, who finished third in London last year, then third.
Each country can nominate three Olympic Marathon runners.
Bekele’s proportions include three Olympic gold medals on the track – the 10,000 meters in 2004 and the 5,000 meters and the 10,000 meters double in 2008 – and the second best marathon performance in history when he scored 2:01:41 in his 2019 Berlin Marathon victory.
His agent, Jose Hermens, said, “Bekele refused to run because it was cold. The race took place at a height of (2,356 meters), and did not exceed 35 kilometers.” France Press agency.
“These are bad conditions for him … it has nothing to do with those in Tokyo.
“The best team is clearly Keninas Bekele. They will be ready, they are in good shape.
“I don’t have anything against the athletes who took part on Saturday but I think we should choose Bekele over Lima who finished the race behind by about two minutes in Berlin in 2019.”
Although it did not participate in Saturday’s race, the EFA could still recruit Bekele if it wished for a long-awaited duel with Kenyan Olympic champion and Kenyan world record holder Eliod Kipchog. – France Press agency