Eliud Kipchoge to make marathon debut

28-year-old Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge will take on Wilson Kiprop in Hamburg next month. AP Photo

On April 21 in Hamburg, all eyes will be on one fast Kenyan: Eliud Kipchoge.

Kipchoge will toe the line at the Haspa Marathon Hamburg, an IAAF Gold Label Road Race.

The reason for the attention is that Kipchoge is a marathon debutant. For the past decade, the 28-year-old has established himself as one of the world's top distance runners. In 2003, he won the junior title at the World Cross-Country Championships. That same year, he defeated Ethiopian legend Haile Gebrselassie to win the 5,000-meter title at worlds.

Since then, Kipchoge has dominated the track, becoming one of just six runners to dip under 13 minutes in the indoor 5,000.

In Hamburg, Kipchoge will face 2010 World Half-Marathon champion Wilson Kiprop. Ethiopia's Chele Dechasa, whose marathon personal best is 2:06:33, will also be in the hunt.

In the women's race, Kateryna Stetsenko (Ukraine) has the fastest seeded time in 2:27:51.

-- Competitor.com