Kenya: Kipchoge to Grace NN Mission Marathon in Netherlands

Eliud Kipchoge (in white singlet) runs flanked by pacesetters during the INEOS 1:59 Challenge at Prater Park in Vienna, Austria on October 12, 2019.

The NN Mission Marathon will be going down on April 18 in the Netherlands after a new venue was announced by the organisers on Tuesday evening.

The race, which was initially slated for April 11 in Hamburg, Germany had to be pushed forward by a week due to current Covid-19 situation in the country.

In a statement, the organisers said: "NN Mission Marathon will go ahead as planned on April 18 and will be moved from Hamburg to Enschede, The Netherlands, on the specially designed course on Twente Airport which will be closed for general audience."

This is the first marathon this year for world record holder Eliud Kipchoge after finishing eighth in London last year.

The one-off marathon has been organised to serve up an opportunity for athletes to run a fast race and in many cases to help secure a qualification mark for the rescheduled Tokyo Olympic Games.

Kipchoge is set to take part in the race alongside former Olympic marathon champion Stephen Kiprotich from Uganda, Laban Korir, Jonathan Korir, Augustine Choge and Ethiopia's Haven Hailu while Gladys Chesir will be competing in the women category.

Kipchoge is using the race as part of his build up towards the Olympic Games where he is looking forward to defend his title.

Upon confirmation that he will compete in the race, Kipchoge said that he wants to run a race that will inspire the world at this hard time.

In an earlier interview with Nation Sport, he said that his preparations for the big assignment are going on well and he is looking forward to a good race during the Tokyo Olympics.

"The world is going through a difficult situation now but we are looking forward to a good competition when the Olympics Games start as one way of encouraging others. I will be out to defend my title after I was selected in the Kenyan team and I'm still preparing," he said.

Pacemakers for the race include Victor Chumo, Gideon Kipketer, Noah Kipkemboi, Philemon Kacheran, Philemon Rono, Alex Kibarus, Jackson Kiprop, Moses Koech, Sylvester Kiptoo and Bernard Cheptoch.

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