NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s Barselius Kipyego and Ethiopia’s Sisay Lemma are
relishing the challenge to stop Olympic bronze medallist
Galen Rupp in Sunday’s Prague International Marathon.
(2:04:08) was beaten by Rupp in the Chicago Marathon
last year and will be seeking revenge in the Czech
Capital while Kipyego, who clocked a fast 59:14 at the
Usti Nad Labem Half Marathon is set to improve his
marathon personal best time of 2:13:06.
has been good. I was disappointed with the performance
at the World Half Marathon in Valencia, where I finished
in position 15. But I have changed my training and feel
fit enough to challenge for the medals in Prague,” said
Kipyego on Saturday.
The trio is
targeting a course record in Prague. The current mark of
2:08:52 was set in 1998 by Kenya Elijah Lagat.
“I’m in the
best shape of my life,” Galen Rupp said on Saturday. “I
have done a lot of great training in the last few months
and I’m looking forward to the race.”
will also be highly motivated when he takes to the start
line on Sunday after finishing second in Prague last
year. Earlier this year the Ethiopian won the Houston
Marathon in 2:08:30, his fastest time in three years.
is the fastest in the women’s field. With a fast time of
2:21:51 at the 2016 Tokyo Marathon, she won the Mumbai
Marathon earlier this year in 2:25:49.
Meseret Mengistu has won five of her seven most recent
marathons, including the 2017 Xiamen Marathon, the 2016
Beijing Marathon and the 2015 Paris Marathon. More
recently, though, she finished third in Xiamen in
January in 2:30:15.
Kenyan Flomena Chepchirchir has a fast time of 2:23:00
with team mate Risper Jebet eyeing to improve her time
of 2:27:23 while there is also European half marathon
champion Sara Moreira of Portugal.