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Kenyan Emmanuel Mutai relishes duel with ex-Olympic
champion Kiprotich at Hamburg Marathon

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Veteran Kenyan runner Emmanuel Mutai says he has what it takes to beat former world and Olympic marathon champion Stephen Kiprotich when the two meet in the Hamburg Marathon later this month.

The 34-year old has been running marathon for over a decade but injuries took the wind out of his sails and has not been successful in the last three years.

However, he hopes to return stronger this time and win in the German harbor city.

“At this level of competition, you will always get stronger challengers. I respect Kiprotich, but I don’t fear him. I will do my best to affirm my pedigree as a top marathon runner and claim my spot on the podium,” he said on Wednesday.

Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge holds the Hamburg Marathon course record at 2:05:30, set in 2013. It was Kipchoge’s first win in marathon sand he has gone on to win almost all of the races he has entered. But Mutai will take the challenge to Kiprotich.

“I have run a faster time before in marathon sand 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.

Mutai will be the fastest runner in the field having clocked 2:03:13 in Berlin in 2014, finishing second to Dennis Kimetto, who clocked a world record time of 2:02.57.

However, records will count for nothing as he comes up against a determined Kiprotich, who skipped the London and Boston marathon to focus on improving his personal best time in Hamburg.

There will also be Sammy Kitwara with more Kenyans - Vincent Kipruto and Stephen Chebogut - lined up and eyeing a share of the spoils.

           

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