17 May

Bekele Relishing Kipsang Challenge

Kenenisa Bekele

With excitement building for the Great Manchester Run tomorrow (Sunday 18 May), all eyes are on two men. Three-time Olympic champion Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia will take on world marathon record holder, Wilson Kipsang of Kenya in the 10k race. It will be the first time the pair have raced against each other.

31-year-old Bekele is well-known to UK runners after beating Mo Farah at least year's Bupa Great North Run in Newcastle. He says the experience gave him a lot of confidence after being out injured for a long spell.

Bekele also spoke about his opponent Kipsang: "He's a strong athlete. Holding marathon records, it's not easy. Only a few athletes can do this. It's a great achievement for him. Racing each other will be great and fun!"

Kipsang presents a tough challenge for the Ethiopian and will be feeling confident after winning the Virgin Money London Marathon in April with a course record of 2:04:29. British runners in action in the men’s race include Andrew Lemoncello of Fife AC and Nick McCormick of Morpeth

In the women's race, reigning world and Olympic champion Tirunuesh Dibaba returns to the northwest to defend her Great Run title. Her rivals include world marathon silver medallist Valeria Stranio, of Italy, and European cross-country champion Sophia Duarte of France. Britain's Gemma Steel and Helene Clitheroe will also be competing.

The race will be broadcast live on BBC2 & BBC2 HD from 10:00am-12:30pm tomorrow, with a highlights show starting from 6:00pm.