Athletics Athletics

Mutai to defend London Marathon title


LONDON, England, January 20 – Kenya’s Emmanuel Mutai will go head to head with compatriot Patrick Makau in a battle for the London Marathon title on April 22.

Reigning men’s champion Mutai will run the event in the English capital in what promises to be an enthralling battle with marathon world record holder Makau.

Race organisers confirmed on Friday that the pair will be among six Kenyans competing just three months before the Olympic Games come to London.

Kenyan selectors will name their final three entrants for the Olympic marathon just eight days after the London race.

Mutai shattered the London course record to win the 2011 race in two hours four minutes 40 seconds and this year he will also be up against double world champion Abel Kirui and three-time London Marathon champion Martin Lel.

London Marathon race director David Bedford said: “Last year was an amazing one for Kenyan marathon runners around the world and we are delighted to welcome this hugely talented half dozen to London for the 2012 men’s race.

“With the Olympic men’s marathon due to be held here exactly 16 weeks later, we expect the battle for podium places to be even more ferocious than usual.”