NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s Janet Ronoh is ready to take
over from where her mentor Gladys Cherono left last year as she
goes for the gold medal at the Berlin marathon on Sunday.
Ronoh, who has won multiple marathons including the 2011 Hong
Kong Marathon, 2013 Cologne Marathon and 2014 Ljubljana
Marathon, holds a personal best of 2:26:03 and on paper is not
the likeliest candidate to win in Berlin.
Ethiopia’s Aberu Kebede leads the favorites having twice won
in Berlin (2010, 2012) before finishing second last year behind
Kenya’s Gladys Cherono.
"I have no doubt of my ability and in every race, it is about
strategy and focus.
"I have done well in training and hopefully, I will have the
last say in Berlin against such a strong group of challengers
from Ethiopia," she said on Friday in Nairobi.
While Cherono has shifted focus from Berlin title defence to
New York race in November, Ronoh knows it is down to her to
hoist high the Kenyan flag and will not seek a second invitation
to deliver the title in the German capital.
"I know my ability and my training has gone well.
"Now let see what the Ethiopians have," she said.
But she must be worried of the form that Kebede holds.
The Ethiopian is looking to secure her third victory in the
Berlin Marathon on Sunday and break the 2:20-barrier for the
first time in the process.
"I have trained well and hope that this time I will finally
break the 2:20 barrier," said Kebede, whose lifetime best of
2:20:30 dates back to the 2012 Berlin Marathon.
She finished second last year in 2:20:48 behind Cherono.
One of her main rivals will be team-mate and former Tokyo
Marathon winner Birhane Dibaba.
"I know about the fast course and the great support from the
"Additionally I have heard that the weather is favorable in
Berlin," she said.
In the men’s side former winner Wilson Kipsang will be back
in Berlin seeking his second win and probably another world
In 2013, he won in Berlin in a world record time of 2:03.23
but that mark was alter lowered by countryman Dennis Kimetto,
who set the current world record of two hours 2:57 minutes in
2014, shaving 26 seconds off Kipsang’s previous record.
There will also be Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele, the world
record-holder over 5,000 and 10,000m, who finished third at the
London marathon in April.
In that race, Kipsang had to settle for fifth spot.
"My focus will be to run my personal best and even break the
world record," said Kipsang before flying to Germany.
The race—expected to take place in warm sunshine—has
attracted several other athletes capable of attacking the world
record, including the Kenyan trio of Vincent Kipruto, Eliud
Kiptanui and Evans Chebet.
Injury rules out former
champ Kimetto from Chicago marathon
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
World Marathon record holder Dennis Kimetto of
Kenya has pulled out of the Chicago Marathon citing an ankle
Kimetto, 33, had hoped to make his comeback after staying out
for almost a year with nagging injuries.
"I am disappointed that I will not be running in Chicago.
"I wanted to reclaim my title and probably run a faster time.
"But it has to be like this and I’m a professional. I accept
and will listen to my body.
"I will overcome it soon and return to competitive running,"
he said Friday from Eldoret.
Last week, speaking in Eldoret, Kimetto had expressed
satisfaction with his training and said he was ready to make
another attempt at his world record of 2:02.57 seconds.
"After setting the world record in Berlin, I have not done
well in full marathons but I am glad that my body is now
responding very well in training.
"I am raring to go," he said.
"I want to run a faster time in Chicago and see if I can take
the course record," he added.
Kimetto set the Chicago record in 2:03:45, and set the world
record the next year in Berlin in 2:02:57.
But he has struggled ever since, and did not even finish at
the World Marathon championships in Beijing last year.
He said he wanted Chicago to be the setting for his big
The Chicago Marathon course record holder sites a stress
fracture in his left leg as the reason for his withdraw.
Fellow Kenyan Sammy Ndungu, last year’s third-place finisher
in Chicago, has also withdrawn along with American Nick
Arciniaga, while Kenyan Paul Lonyangata has been added to the
The women’s field has also seen some changes.
Ethiopian Yebrgual Melese, who finished second in last year’s
race, has been added to the field, as has Ethiopian Meskerem
Assefa. Also on the field are Kenyans Purity Rionoripio and
The Chicago marathon race, which is part of the World
Marathon Majors, will take place on Oct. 9.