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Amsterdam marathon winner unbowed by London challenge

NAIROBI  (Xinhua) -- Kenyan Daniel Wanjiru is not intimidated by the challenge of running against a daunting field at the Virgin London Marathon in April after being named in the elite men’s line-up for the 2017 edition on Monday.

Speaking from his training base in central Kenya, Wanjiru, who smashed the Amsterdam Marathon course record last October where he led his compatriots to occupy the first nine places, is aiming at making the podium on his World Marathon Majors debut.

“I will be competing in a Majors race for the first time and my plan is to run as Wanjiru and I shall not fear those who have more experience than I have, the athlete declared,” the athlete declared.

“I went on with my training after Amsterdam and my aim is to lower my personal best in London and I’m hoping to have a good race. My body has been responding well.”

Wanjiru, a father of two has been designated as a dark horse in the towering field having blasted to 2:05:19 at the Amsterdam Marathon to set tongues wagging especially after beating two-time Chicago runner-up Sammy Kitwara (2:05:45) and Marius Kimutai (2:05:47) to the tape.

His performance drew parallels with the late Beijing 2008 Olympics champion and 2009 London winner, Samuel Wanjiru, with whom he shares a name when he unfolded similar front-running tactics to win the IAAF Gold Label Race at the Dutch city.

“I want to run as well as Wanjiru did in London. He remains a motivation in training,” the Amsterdam winner added.

Kenyan Olympics, two-time winner and defending champion Eliud Kipchoge will not return to London leaving Ethiopian giant Kenenisa Bekele who missed the world record by six seconds in Berlin last fall is the rank favourite.

Wanjiru is included in the Kenyan charge that also includes London 2012 Olympics silver medallist and two-time world champion, Abel Kirui last year’s runners-up Stanley Biwott as well as World Cross and World Half silver winner, Bedan Karoki who will make his debut over the distance. 

             

 

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