Three-time Olympic champion Kenenisa Bekele will make marathon debut in Paris
Three-time former Olympic champion Kenenisa Bekele will make his marathon debut in Paris.
Last Updated: 09/01/14 12:47pm
The Ethiopian had been widely tipped for a rematch with British athlete Mo Farah in the London Marathon but Bekele has opted to run in the Paris Marathon.
Bekele and Farah went head to head in last September's Great North Run, when reigning world and Olympic 5,000m and 10,000m champion Farah was pipped in a sprint finish.
Paris Marathon organisers confirmed in a statement that Bekele will instead line up in their race on April 6 - seven days before Farah makes his own debut at the 26-mile distance.
The statement said: "Kenenisa Bekele, triple Olympic champion and five-time world champion over 5,000 metres and 10,000m, will line up at the start of the 38th edition of the Schneider Electric Paris Marathon.
"The 31-year-old Ethiopian athlete will make his debut in the marathon on April 6th with the aim of having a shot at the times of the world's best runners over the distance."
Bekele holds the 5,000m and 10,000m world records, but is cautious about his chances of adding the marathon all-time mark to his list of achievements.
Last month he told the website of world governing body IAAF: "Of course, if I train hard I will do a fast time. But I can't say I will run 2:03, 2:05 or 2:06.
"The only thing is I have to prepare myself and train hard until I finish a marathon. I have to motivate myself to train hard to be ready to put myself in a
good position. We will see in the end what will be the result."