Alexander Mutiso reveals how he outwitted Kenenisa Bekele at 2024 London Marathon


Alexander Mutiso reveals how he outwitted Kenenisa Bekele at 2024 London Marathon

Festus Chuma 10:00 - 22.04.2024

Alexander Mutiso wins London Marathon, beating Kenenisa Bekele with a time of 2:04:01, marking his first major marathon victory.

Kenya's long-distance runner Alexander Mutiso clinched an impressive victory at the London Marathon beating the highly decorated veteran Kenenisa Bekele in a thrilling race that unfolded on Sunday.

Mutiso, a relative newcomer on the global marathon stage, claimed his first major victory with a remarkable finish time of 2:04:01 just moments ahead of Bekele who finished in 2:04:15.

The 27-year-old Kenyan, who was not widely known in marathon circles before this race, executed a strategic surge in the final kilometers, which secured his position at the front. 

Speaking about his victory, Mutiso shared the critical moment that defined the race for him. 

“At 40km, I felt the pressure from Bekele but I had a lot of confidence because I trained for this.

 “After 40km I thought I had enough energy to win. That's why I kicked and I knew I would win," Mutiso told BBC Sport.

The race began at a steady pace with a leading pack of 12 runners, including 2022 world champion Tamirat Tola and 2021 Chicago Marathon winner Seifu Tura, maintaining close proximity.

 As the race progressed past the halfway mark, the lead pack thinned, leaving Munyao, Bekele, and Ethiopia’s Milkesa Mengesha vying for the top spot.

Eventually, Mutiso’s enduring stamina allowed him to break away from Bekele, a three-time Olympic gold medalist and five-time world champion.

Despite Bekele’s impressive record and experience, the Ethiopian runner has yet to clinch a victory in London. 

This year’s marathon could have been his opportunity, but Munyao’s exceptional performance in the final stages of the race left Bekele settling for second place. 

The result was notably historic, as Bekele set the fastest marathon time ever recorded by an athlete over the age of 40.

The event also served as a poignant remembrance for last year's champion, Kelvin Kiptum, who has since passed away.

"I think about him and let him rest in peace. He came here in London and he won. Let him rest in peace,” Mutiso reflected on his predecessor’s legacy.

Mutiso, who is now hopeful about his chances to represent Kenya at the upcoming Paris Olympics, remarked on his uncertain future.

 “I hope for the best. If they select me, I will go and work for it."

 His performance in London has certainly made a compelling case for his inclusion in the Olympic team.

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