NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Berlin Marathon champion Gladys Cherono from
Kenya is optimistic about a podium finish in London on April 22.
Cherono, 34, last
competed at the Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) Half Marathon in the United
Arab Emirates and could only finish eighth in one hour three
minutes and 34 seconds.
The half marathon
was won by her compatriot Fancy Chemutai with Mary Keitany
Now, Cherono has her
focus on the London Marathon.
“You always train to
win and dominate in a race. But there will be tough competition,
which you must evaluate and see how best to make your mark,”
said Cherono in Iten on Monday.
Keitany is aiming to break the world record of 2:15:25 set by
Briton Paula Radcliff in the mixed-gender race in 2003. But that
has not stopped Cherono from dreaming of her maiden win in
Cherono is just be
one of the huge stars of distance running. She won the Berlin
Marathon in 2:20.23 last September.
Cherono did not run
any marathons in 2016 due to injury and was fifth in Boston last
year before going on to clinch her second title in Berlin. But
the challenge in London will be another test.
Kenyan Keitany, who
was second at the New York Marathon, has already announced her
intent to shatter Paula Radcliffe’s world record.
Meanwhile, she has
another target of firming her grip on the women’s World Marathon
Majors (WMM) leaderboard, which will see the winner walk away
with 500,000 US dollars.
“I have raced before
in London and the crowd supported me. I hope they will be behind
me in my challenge and help drive me on to achieve something
incredible in London,” said Keitany.
Ethiopia will have
Chicago marathon champion Tirunesh Dibaba, who has hit top form
this year. “I am very happy to say that I will be returning to
the London Marathon,” said Dibaba on her twitter page.
Other favorites are
Mare Dibaba, Tigist Tufa, Tadelech Bekele, Brigid Kosgei
(Kenya), Rose Chelimo (Bahrain) and Vivian Cheruiyot (Kenya).