NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Veteran marathon runner Emmanuel Mutai of Kenya
believes he is ready to run at the top level as he heads to
Hamburg, Germany for the marathon there on April 29.
The organizers have
confirmed that a strong elite field is prepared for the Hamburg
Marathon and believes the course record will be up for grabs.
Eliud Kipchoge holds the Hamburg Marathon course record at
2:05:30, set in 2013.
“I have run a faster
time before in marathon and I will be hoping to gain similar
success in Hamburg.
"I know there will be a lot of athletes
eyeing the title, but I have the ability to challenge anyone for
the gold,” Mutai said on Monday in Eldoret.
Mutai will be the
fastest runner in the field having clocked in at 2:03:13.
However, he faces a spirited challenge from former Olympic
winner Stephen Kiprotich from Uganda.
There will also be
Sammy Kitwara with more Kenyans, (Vincent Kipruto and Stephen
Chebogut) lined up eyeing a share of the pie.
The Ethiopian group
leader is Ayele Abshero with 2:04:23 best, Solomon Deksisa and
2014 winner Shumi Dechasa with 2:06:43.
In the women’s
field, there are six runners with sub 2:30 bests. On top of the
list is Sweden’s Isabellah Andersson with 2:23:41, a national
record, and she plans to qualify for Berlin Marathon with
posting fast time in Hamburg.
But she will be up
for a strong contest from Kenya’s track star Sylvia Kibet, who
has a strong and fast time in marathon of 2:26:16. Shitaye
Eshete from Bahrain has 2:25:36, and Namibia’s Beata Naigambo
boasts 2:26:57. Rounding out the field, from Portugal, Filomena
Costa comes in at 2:28:00.