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Kenya’s Kirui warns rivals preying on his Boston title 

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- World marathon champion Geoffrey Kirui of Kenya has warned his rivals of a bruising battle as he is hungrier than before in the quest to defend his title on the streets of Boston on April 16.

The Kenyan, whose opposition will include Ethiopians Lelisa Desisa and Tamirat Tola has immersed himself in training in hot conditions in Kapasabet and is hopeful, nothing will stop him from claiming his second Boston marathon title in as many attempts.

“I know it will not be easy this year because every athlete will want to beat me. It is always very tough winning a Marathon title for two straight years, but I am very determined and hungry to make this happen. Winning a second Boston Marathon title attracts me,” Kirui said on Friday in Nairobi.

However, when you look at the caliber of opposition lined up against Kirui, then there is cause for alarm for the defending champion to produce his best game so far.

“But to win a race, you must be the best,” he added. Indeed Kirui must overcome the challenge from World Half marathon record holder Zersenay Tadese of Eritrea, Kenya’s trio of Wilson Kiprono Too, Dominic Kiptarus and Bernard Kimani.

Last year, Kirui made his Boston debut and faced a deep international field of major championship medalists. The Kenyan ran a strategic race and, in only his third marathon, ultimately prevailed, becoming the first Kenyan winner since 2012.

Four months later, at the IAAF World Championships in London last August, Kirui decisively won the gold medal.

“Indeed 2017 was a wonderful year for me with winning both Boston and the World Championships,” said Kirui. “I’ m happy to return to Boston to defend my title. The legendary course suits me very well.”

Kirui gave up the chance to run at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia on April 14 to focus on his title defence in Boston. Hopeful, it will pay off for him.



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