2017 Okpekpe race champion Leul Gebreselassie aims for first major marathon victory in London

Leul Gebreselassie, the second Ethiopian man to win the men’s title at the Okpekpe international 10km road race, will be gunning for his first major marathon win on Sunday at the London Marathon.

The London Marathon is one of the six major marathons in the world. The rest are Boston, Berlin, New York, Tokyo, and Chicago marathons.

The Ethiopian came very close two years ago when he ran 2:05:12 to place second behind Kenya’s Amos Kipruto (2:04:39).

It was an improvement on his eighth-place finish in 2019 (2:07:15) while last year he placed third.

Leul Gebreselassie won the men’s event at the Third edition of the Okpekpe Road Race. Photo: World Athletics

Gebreselassie will be looking to go one step better than he did in 2022 but will have to contend against an elite field led by his countryman, Kenenisa Bekele, a two-time major winner who holds a 2:10:41 lifetimes best he ran to win the Berlin marathon in 2019.

The three-time Olympics 5000m and 10000m champion and five time World 5000m and 10000m champion is not the only athlete that will stand between Gebreselassie and a first major win as he will have to run faster than four other Ethiopians who are among the top 10 contenders for the title as well as Kenya’s Alexander Mutiso Munyao who raced into recognition last December in Valencia, Spain where he ran 2:03:11.

Gebrselasie ran 29;28 to win the men’s title at the third edition of the Okpekpe international 10km road race.

The 31-year-old won the bronze medal in the marathon event at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary to become the second Okpekpe race winner to make the podium at the competition after Kenya’s Daniel Ebenyo who won the 10,000m silver medal.

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