NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s Ishhimael Chemtan has said he
will go out at full throttle to win the Toronto marathon on Oct.
16 to prove his critics he deserved the narrow win in last
But the winner has not forgotten it was
less than a second that separated him from Gilbert Kirwa earning
victory in 2:09:00. The two will face each other again next
"I remember it was very cold during the 2015 race," said
Chemtan after his training in Iten.
"My shape and preparation is better than last year. My best
time is 2:08:20 and I believe I will be able to run better this
year. I am looking to run under 2:08."
Clearly, he has the ability to run much faster, having beaten
athletes with superior personal best times over the years. Kirwa,
for instance, has run 2:06:14.
In April this year, Chemtan finished second at the Milan
Marathon, setting that 2:08:20 personal best.
Both Chemtan and Kirwa have been preparing to do battle on
the streets of Canada’s largest city with the latter eager to
turn the tables after coming so close a year ago. Losing in a
sprint was more than just a matter of pride.
"This year I am prepared well and I hope for a good
performance," said Kirwa.
"I also see this year that there is a strong field in
"If we can work together, with my competitors, I am convinced
that we can run faster than last year.
"More so if the weather will be good and favourable then it
will contribute to faster times."
"My expectation is to run good and go for the course record
in Toronto [2:07:05].
"Training is going well and I tested myself in the Tilburg
10miles race in the Netherlands.
"I am in the right shape for Toronto."
Kirwa finished fourth in Tilburg with a time of 45:40 and
that is certainly an indication he is ready to duel with his
The prize purse is a great attraction as he looks after his
four brothers and three sisters.
As the Toronto race approaches, he will focus even more on
getting as much rest as possible between training sessions.
The course record would be a handsome reward for Kirwa and
There is a 35,000-US-dollar course record bonus that
escalates to 50,000 dollars if the time is faster than 2:06:00.
The existing record of 2:07:05 has been held by Ethiopia’s
Deressa Chimsa since 2013.
It has withstood the challenge of some excellent distance
runners since then.