Kenenisa Bekele has confirmed he will compete at the Great Manchester Run on 22 May as he looks to retain full fitness after 11 months out with an Achilles injury. Bekele’s participation comes shortly after news that his fellow Ethiopian, Tirunesh Dibaba, will also be heading to the North West, signifying a further boost for Europe’s largest 10k road race.
Bekele returned to action in last month’s Virgin London Marathon, finishing in third position with a strong showing – considering his year to date – of 2:06.36. The Ethiopian is likely to compete over the same distance at the Rio Olympics this summer.
Bekele has tasted success at Manchester before, winning in 2014 after a thrilling duel with Wilson Kipsang. The year prior, the 33-year-old prevailed at the Great North Run, leading a field that included Mo Farah and Haile Gebrselassie. In less than two weeks time, Bekele will once again find himself up against Kipsang, with New Zealander Zane Robertson providing further competition.
The Manchester event is set, once again, to pull in an incredible field with 25,000 runners expected to take part on 22 May. The route takes runners past Old Trafford, home of Manchester United, who play Crystal Palace in the FA Cup Final at Wembley the previous day.