World 1500m Champion Timothy Cheruiyot will take part in a 2000m virtual race on 11 June against the Norwegian stars the Ingebrigtsen brothers.
The date was originally meant to be a Diamond League meeting in Oslo, but with that cancelled due to coronavirus concerns, organisers have switched to virtual meeting, known as the Impossible Games.
Racing over 2000m, the Ingebrigtsen brothers – Henrik, Filip and Jakob – will run at the Bislett Stadium in Oslo, while world 1500m champion Timothy Cheruiyot and 2017 world champion Elijah Manangoi will form part of “Team Cheruyitot” and will run in Nairobi.
“In 2020, due to Covid-19, it is not possible to have international participation from around the world like we are used to,” meet director Steinar Hoen said.
“But with some creativity we have managed to create a unique match between Team Ingebrigtsen and Team Cheruiyot through international cooperation.”
The Impossible Games will be the first high-level virtual race in the history of athletics.
Both teams will start with five runners and will have to finish with three. The winner of the match will be the team with the best overall time for three runners.
The individual times will count as well.
“The Impossible Games 2000m is a serious but fun event and I assure you that my teammates and I at Rongai Athletics Club will do our very best,” Cheruiyot said.
“I miss being on the track so it’s good to be focused on something ahead. Tune in on 11 June if you can.”
The 2000m race will pay tribute to the legendary athletics figure Maurie Plant, who passed away in January this year.
Plant’s fellow Australian Nic Bideau from Melbourne Track Club welcomed the tribute.
“If there was one thing Maurie loved more than the Bislett Games, it was the sport of athletics itself and the great competition it provides,” Bideau said.
“I have no doubt he would be extremely proud that during this pandemic that has proved so challenging to sport everywhere, for his name to be associated with such an event would humble him. Maurie was a huge fan of the most interesting athletes for many years, the Ingebrigtsen family, and have loved watching them take on some of the best from Kenya,” says Nic Bideau.
“We have been long time beneficiaries of Maurie’s passion for the sport and the Bislett Games and are terribly disappointed not to be there this year.”