Kenyan superstars Eliud Kipchoge and Wilson Kipsang will be going head to head in the London Marathon and it promises to be a riveting battle.
Kipchoge won the title in dramatic fashion in 2015, beating his rival by just five seconds – while Kipsang was the winner in 2014. The world of road running can’t wait for them to do it all over again on the streets of London on 24 April.
Add another Kenyan legend, world record holder Dennis Kimetto, into the mix – as well as up-and-coming Stanley Biwott and you can see why the race is generating so much excitement. Especially as places for the Olympics in Rio later this year will also be up for grabs.
“It was fantastic to win the Virgin Money London Marathon last year against one of the greatest fields ever assembled in marathon running,” said Kipchoge. “This year I will come back to London to compete again with the world’s best athletes. I will work hard to defend my title in London and, together with Wilson, Dennis, Stanley and those from other countries, make it a fast and wonderful race.”
Other Africans to look out for include Ethiopia’s triple Olympic gold medallist Kenenisa Bekele, Eritrea’s teenage hero from the Beijing World Championships, Ghirmay Ghebreslassie and Ethiopian Tilahun Regassa, who was fifth last year.
South Africa’s Lucas Sithole is aiming high after winning his first major title at the Australian Open.
Sithole won the wheelchair tennis quad doubles with partner David Wagner, beating the top seeds Andy Lapthorne and Dylan Alcott.
It’s a good time for the sport in South Africa as Kgothatso Montjane began the year with victories in the Sydney and Melbourne Opens.
“It’s extremely exciting,” said Sithole. “It was the first time I had played with David Wagner. It was a big achievement. I hope there is more to come.”
Sports Personality of the Year – Julius Yego
Kenya javelin star Julius Yego has been crowned his country’s Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year
Jukius Yego, 27, broke the African record twice and national record four times in 2015 on his way to becoming the first Kenyan to be crowned world champion in a field event.
At Kenya’s SOYA awards night he was also named Sportsman of the Year, beating fellow athletes Asbel Kiprop and Geoffrey Kamworor, while world 3000m steeplechase champion Hyvin Kiyeng was Sportswoman of the Year.
“It’s a big honour that the country can recognise and appreciate what I have done,” said Yego, who won gold at the World Championships with a huge throw of 92.72m.
Yego was presented with his trophy by Cameroon football star Patrick M’Boma, Kenya’s Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario and SOYA founder Paul Tergat.
Kenyan Premier League champions Gor Mahia won Team of the Year (men) with the national women’s volleyball team, Malkia Strikers, winning the women’s award.
Former National women’s volleyball team coach David Lung’ah was named Coach of the Year, with Edna Rotich lifting the Community Hero Award.
Quick chat with Victor Moses, West Ham & Nigeria football superstar
Q It’s been a good season for West Ham, Victor, and now you have another Nigerian with you – striker Emmanuel Emenike after he signed from Fenerbahçe on loan. That must be good news? It is. It’s great for the club and for me. I probably played about 20 games with him in the same Nigeria team, where we call him ‘the Big Man’. We were together in the team who won the Africa Cup of Nations, where he was top scorer. I think he’s going to do well here.
Q Did he speak to you before joining? Yes, he called me up and told me the club were interested in him. I told him, “You should come and play in the Premier League, West Ham are a family club, everyone here is friendly and we have a good manager.”
Q How do you think he’s going to do? He’s quick and strong at the same time and I firmly believe he will be good in the Premier League and for West Ham as well. We hope to have a strong end to the season.
What’s on in April
1-3 Formula 1
Bahrain Grand Prix, Sakhir
World Cup, New Zealand
World Twenty20 finals (men and women), India
5-6 & 12-13 Football
Champions League quarter-finals
The Masters, Augusta
9 Horse Racing
Grand National, Aintree, England
15-17 Formula 1
Chinese Grand Prix, Shanghai
16 Apr-2 May Snooker
World Championship, UK
World Series, South Africa
Champions League semi-finals
29 Apr-1 May Formula 1
Russian Grand Prix, Sochi