Ethiopian to make British 10km road debut as he goes head-to-head with marathon world record-holder

Kenenisa Bekele is to face the likes of marathon world record-holder Wilson Kipsang when he makes his British 10km road debut at the Bupa Great Manchester Run on May 18.

The Ethiopian, world record-holder for 5000m and 10,000m, will look to continue his success on the roads of this country as he won the Bupa Great North Run on Tyneside last September, beating both double world and Olympic champion Mo Farah and Ethiopian long distance great Haile Gebrselassie.

Bekele’s outing in Manchester will be his first ever race against Kenya’s Kipsang, who clocked 2:03:23 for the marathon world record in Berlin last September.

“Kenenisa and Wilson have never raced against each other before, so it will be fascinating to see what happens in Manchester on May 18,” said Peter Riley, elite athlete manager for the Bupa Great Manchester Run.

“Wilson won the Bupa Great North Run in 2012 and was only outkicked by Moses Kipsiro in the Bupa Great Manchester Run a year ago so he has top class pedigree at the half marathon and 10km. I’ve no doubt he’ll come to Manchester ready to roll again.”

Despite making his marathon debut in Paris on April 6, with Kipsang running 26.2 miles in London a week later, Bekele has also insisted he is not done with the track and wants to break his own 10,000m world record.

“I want to see how the Paris goes first but my future dreams are not just about the marathon,” said Bekele. “My career on the track is not over. I want to try one more world record at 10,000m.”

Riley added: “Kenenisa will be running his first marathon in Paris, so it’ll be interesting to see how he runs there. It’s great that we’ve got him running his first 10km on the roads in Britain. He’s won the last two Bupa Great Ireland Run 10km races in Dublin.”

The Bupa Great Manchester Run is Europe’s biggest 10km race and an IAAF Gold Label event. It forms part of a weekend of athletics action in the city, with the BT Great CityGames taking place the day before on May 17.

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