By John Kwoba NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Paris Marathon champion Betsy Saina said
she is ready to take on her challengers at Sunday’s Frankfurt
marathon in Germany.
Saina, 29, leads a
strong Kenyan delegation of 13 runners to the race, all eyeing
to impress the panel of selectors ahead of next year’s World
Marathon Championships in Doha, Qatar.
This will be Saina’s
second marathon and sixth race this year. She has competed in
three 10km road races posting mixed results. She took the top
honors at the Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon in Japan in February
before going on to win Paris, her first major victory over 42km.
believes past records and performances will not count when she
lines up for the Frankfurt marathon on Sunday.
“I must be grateful
for all the support that I have received from my trainers and
colleagues for the past four months in camp. I am excited to see
what is ahead. My training has been good and uneventful and I
must say am ready to represent Kenya at the Frankfurt marathon,”
she said here on Tuesday.
On paper, Saina is
not the fastest in the elite line-up in Frankfurt. That honor
goes to Mare Dibaba, who won the 2015 World Championships in
Beijing. The Ethiopian showed good form last Sunday as she won
the Glasgow Half Marathon in 69 minutes and 15 seconds and her
best time over 42km is 2:19.52.
But that is not
giving Saina sleepless nights. “I have goals but I am more
excited to compete. I have done the homework,” she said.
acknowledged that the group of world-class Ethiopians, who have
run the marathon in less than two hours and 22 minutes, will
pose a strong challenge.
She said her target
now is to break the 2:20.00 barrier and improve on her best time
of 2:22.56, which she managed in Paris in May.
Chebet will lead a men’s field that also has 12 runners with
personal bests faster than 2:10.00.
With a strong
personal best of 2:05.27, Chebet is now the fastest on the
Frankfurt starting grid after Guye Adola of Ethiopia withdraw
due to health concerns.
Kenyan hopes to regain top form on Frankfurt’s fast course after
a period where he has struggled.