NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Amsterdam marathon champion Lawrence Cherono of
Kenya on Wednesday vowed to retain his title and improve the
course record in the Dutch city on Oct. 21.
Speaking in Eldoret,
Cherono who holds the current course record of 2.05.09 from last
year’s win, said he is in better shape to try to break the two
hours and four minute mark.
“It will be my
fourth time. It is my dream for my career because I was there in
2011 where I got a personal best. I returned there and did well
and now I want to improve my best time and win the race against
the strong international challenge,” Cherono told Xinhua.
The elite field in
Amsterdam Marathon will be the strongest ever assembled led by
Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele (2:03.03), Mule Wasihun, who holds a
fast time of 2:05:39, Kenyans Gideon Kipketer (2:05:51) and
Laban Korir (2:05:54).
Turkish Kaan Ozbilen Kigen (2:06:10), a silver medalist from the
European Championships half-marathon will also be present.
“It is always a
dream to run in Amsterdam. If that dream dies, it will be like a
bird that can’t fly. I have a lot of hope to improve against a
stronger field assembled this time round. I am excited to run
against Bekele. He was my role model and I look forward to meet
“I used to see him
run against Olympic Champion Eliud Kipchoge or in the IAAF
Golden League. Today I train with Kipchoge and am excited to run
against Bekele and target a faster race. Kipchoge has taught me
to always remain focused and determined. Run with your mind, the
race is won in the mind, always be strong in the mind,” added
Alongside Bekele and
Cherono, Ethiopian Mule holds the sway on who will carry the
day. Mule is gradually establishing himself in the upper
echelons of global marathon running.
In 2017 he placed
second in the Dubai Marathon clocking 2:06:46 before trimming
five seconds from his marathon best time to 2:05:39 for fourth
Kipketer represents the next generation of marathon stars.
His rising status in
global marathon running was further cemented earlier this year
as he dismantled his previous best time by more than two minutes
to record 2:05:51 finishing second at the Tokyo Marathon behind
former world record holder Wilson Kipsang.
ever refugee marathon set for Kenya’s Nairobi
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenyan athletics legends Rose Tata-Muya and peace
ambassador Tegla Loroupe are among the high-profile
personalities who will grace the inaugural Refugees Marathon to
be held here on Saturday.
Bahati Ghislain and Jean Pierre Ngirabahire confirmed on Tuesday
that everything is set for the first ever event for refugees in
Kenya, saying the aim of the event is to celebrate the Kenyan
government and the people of Kenya for their hospitality.
“If not for the
warmth and nature of Kenyans we would never have known peace,”
said Ghislain, 24, who moved to Kenya 10 years ago from
Democratic Republic of Congo after losing all his family
“This country has
made me everything I am because they allowed me to feel human
again. When I came here I met people who took me as their own
and I have every reason to say good things about Kenya,”
they would use the event to donate blood to the national blood
bank, but are still working on the modalities of partnering with
the national blood transfusion center.
“We have really
thought about how or what we can do to show our gratitude to the
people of Kenya and we thought this would be a good way of
saying thank you,” he explained.
“This is about
celebrating Kenyans who have allowed us to live amongst them
like brothers and sisters. We also want to raise awareness on
the plight of refugees and what it means to be one because of
what we went through but Kenya has made us feel human again,”
The event will bring
together refugees from different nationalities who are currently
residing in Kenya, mainly from DRC, Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia,
South Sudan, Eritrea and Ethiopia.
Other than the 10 km
run and the 4km fun run, the day’s program will also feature
entertainment by different choirs and artistes, blood donation
as well as sensitization on different issues affecting refugees.
Loroupe, a UN peace
ambassador, said the event is a major talent identification pool
for her refugee athletes program, having advocated for stateless
athletes to take part in the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.
“They go through a
lot and it’s very painful that talented youth can’t exploit
their gift because of problems they have no control of,” she
“It is a good event
and I always want to support such ideas because they are the
ones that advance the cause I have always championed,” she said.
Over 3,000 refugees
will take part in the event out of the more than 70,000 refugees
who live in Nairobi.