Athletics: Ethiopian distance great Bekele to make marathon debut in Paris

(REUTERS) - Triple Olympic track gold medallist Kenenisa Bekele will make his marathon debut in Paris on April 6, the International Association of Athletics Federations said on Thursday.

His decision to run in the French capital has effectively ruled him out of a potential head-to-head with British rival Mo Farah at the London Marathon a week later.

Ethiopia's Bekele, the 5,000m and 10,000m world record holder, got the better of Farah when the pair raced in the Great North Run half marathon in September.

Farah, the current world and Olympic champion over 5,000m and 10,000m, has already confirmed he will run in London after completing half the distance last year.

"Of course, if I train hard I will do a fast time," Bekele, 31, said on the IAAF website (

"But I can't say I will run 2:03, 2:05 or 2:06. I cannot say. The only thing is I have to prepare myself and train hard until I finish a marathon."

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