Emmanuel Kwesiga

Africa’s Long-standing Athletics Contention between Kipchoge and Bekele expected to make history in Paris 2024.

41-year-old Kenenisa Bekele and Eliud Kipchoge aged 39 expected to take their athletic rivalry to yet another history-making level. The eminent History has fans allover Africa and the world excited and expectant.

The last two decades had the world witness greatness. With some of the world’s biggest, strongest, smartest and fittest athletes seen shining in their prime. This was not limited to the legends, but also the new rising stars that shook the balance.

In the world of athletes, Lebron, Michael Jordan, Serena Williams, the late Kobe Bryant, Ronaldo and Messi just to mention but a few did really shake the world of sport and redefined athleticism. These people gave a new meaning to competitiveness and in turn rewarded us with top-tier entertainment and a whole lot of wallpapers for our rooms and phones.

These rivalries might’ve shaped how the viewers and fans perceived sport and athleticism but it did not stop at that. It created athletic rivalries that will always stand to entertain and inspire us. Today we analyze this decade and a half of athletic rivalries, perhaps one of the best ones to ever exist after my personal favorite, the Messi and Ronaldo one.

Kipchoge first ran on the same Olympic track with Bekele in Athens 2004. The Ethiopian living legend had been at it for a while and in fact, the two had been at it for a while and met in 2003 at a final at the world championships.

This 5,000m encounter yielded some career changing results for Kipchoge when he bagged Gold and Bekele clenched a bronze medal.

After the 2004 occasion in which Bekele took a silver and Kipchoge held onto a bronze, the two individuals would only keep soaring higher and higher. When in 2008 despite putting on such an amazing show for the fans, Bekele beat kip to the gold and he settled for the silver. The only twist to it was that he did actually manage to defend his title in the 10,000m.

Both athletes have since grown and diversified their approaches to the races they have had to go on. Kipchoge since moved into marathon races starting in 2013 in which he secured over 10 victories in high-end races, all this on top of his two Golds earlier secured.

Despite injuries after his debut marathon race in Paris 2014 which he in fact won, Bekele is back for which many seem to think may be his last show down alongside his chief athletic rival Kipchoge in Paris.

21 years after their first encounter, 12 years later since Bekele’s active involvement in athletics on such huge stages, its nothing short of amazement and excitement from fans who envisage a historic event.

Should Kipchoge win, this will be his third consecutive Olympic win and a historical event for him as an athlete. However, if he gets shocked by his all-time rival Bekele, It may be an equally befitting way for the athlete to bow out of the scene and historic as well.

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