Kenenisa eyes marathon Olympics gold medal in Paris Olympics
Renowned distance runner Kenenisa Bekele is determined to make his mark at the Valencia Marathon set to take place on December 3rd.
Despite achieving remarkable success in track and cross-country events including three Olympic golds and 19 world titles, the 41-year-old Ethiopian believes his best performances are still ahead.
With an illustrious career spanning two decades, Kenenisa expressed unwavering ambition to excel in the marathon but acknowledged injuries have hindered his progress, preventing him from fully realizing his potential. However, he remains resolute in his pursuit of greatness.
His personal best of 2:01:41 from the 2019 Berlin Marathon ranks him third all-time, behind Kelvin Kiptum and Eliud Kipchoge. Despite some suggesting his prime has passed, Kenenisa is undeterred, fully aware of his capabilities.
Looking to the 2023 Valencia Marathon on December 3rd, known for its fast course, Kenenisa hopes to use the race as a stepping stone towards his ultimate goal – the 2024 Paris Olympics.
With 43 Ethiopian men already meeting the 2:08:10 standard, he aims for 2:04:30 or faster to boost his selection chances for the team.
Athletes will have two pathways to Paris 2024 qualification. Half the spots will go to those meeting the entry standard within the allotted timeframe. The remaining 50 percent of the qualification spots will be determined by the World Athletics Ranking during the specified ranking period. For all individual events, excluding the 10,000m, marathon, combined events, and race walks, the qualification and ranking period will take place from July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2024.