Bekele To Make Marathon Debut In Paris

The Ethiopian has three Olympic gold medals and one silver on the track.

The Ethiopian has three Olympic gold medals and one silver on the track.

Three-time Olympic track & field gold medalist Kenenisa Bekele will make his marathon debut at the Paris Marathon in April.

Bekele, who won silver and gold medals in the 5000m and 10,000m, respectively, at the 2004 Olympics, swept both races four years later at the Beijing Games. But the now 31-year-old snapped his winning streak in the 10,000m at the 2011 world championships. And at the London Olympics, he placed fourth in the event that was once his signature race.

Now the Ethiopian is poised to move up to the marathon as he transitions to another phase of his career.

“If I am going to do a marathon, of course I want to win,” Bekele, who is reportedly doing one three-hour run every week during his marathon prep, said in an IAAF story. “I want to have a good result. I am not going to run to lose or just for a bad result. Everybody, not only me, feels that when you are going to compete, you are going to try to win the race.”

Bekele won the Great North Run last fall and this weekend he’ll compete at the Great Edinburgh Cross Country event ahead of the April 6 race through the French capital.

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Stanley Biwott set the Paris Marathon world record of 2 hours, 5 minutes, 12 seconds in 2012. If things go as planned, Bekele could threaten the mark.

“It will be a crucial test for the rest of his career,” Bekele’s manager Jos Hermens said. “If successful, that would mean he could target the marathon at the Rio 2016 Olympics.”

For More: IAAF