By John Kwoba NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Fast times and opportunities to showcase their
talent will inspire over 20,000 runners to compete in Sunday’s
Nairobi International Marathon.
With a new route in
place, organizers are keen to improve on last year’s record of
2:12.39 set by Brimin Kipruto, who has announced he will skip
his title defense and instead work on winning the Athens
Marathon next month.
Reuben Siwa Kipruto said on Thursday that he believes he has the
experience and stamina to run for a podium finish against a rich
field that has many runners keen to display their raw talent.
“Nothing is assured
with the Nairobi Marathon,” said Kipruto, “Unlike other big city
marathons, where elite runners have the upper hand, in Nairobi
everyone is a star and on their day they can win the race. But I
hope to repeat my success since winning here in 2014.”
believes that the cool weather in Nairobi will help improve his
“It is wet and cold
at the moment in Nairobi and if it remains this way until
Sunday, expect fast time,” he added.
Kipruto will be up
against Julius Kiprono Tarus, the winner of the Brussels
Marathon, William Ekai (2:20.53) and Sammy Kipkorir (2:17.03).
In the women’s race,
the onus will be on Naomi Jepkorir to prove her credential after
she recently obliterated the field to conquer the Nanjing Lishui
Half Marathon within 1:17.05.
It will be the
second time she runs in Nairobi and Jepkorir is aiming for her
maiden victory in Kenya’s premier road race where the champions
will walk home with 15,000 U.S. dollars.
She will be up
against 2016 Rock and Roll Madrid Marathon fifth place finisher
In the half marathon
distance, Beijing Marathon champion Valary Ayaibei will be back
to defend her title at home.
Ayaibei, who has
said she is keen to compete at the World Marathon Championships
in Doha, Qatar in 2019, will give the selectors a chance to see
her live in action.
2:21:38 to become the first Kenyan woman to win the Beijing
Marathon, ending the Ethiopian reign.
Kenya’s Korikwiang targets
Valencia Half Marathon crown
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s Pauline Korikwiang will return to Spain
hoping to win the Valencia Half Marathon in her second attempt
Korikwiang, 30, was
beaten to second place at the Valencia 15km road race in June,
posting a fastest time of 47:57.
However, she hopes
that she has the energy to add another cut to her collections
after winning the Bucharest Half Marathon with a time of 70:07
She leads five other
Kenyans in the race including Edith Chelimo, Risper Chebet,
Diana Chemutai, Mary Wacera (the world half marathon bronze
medalist) Caroline Rotich and Ines Chenonge.
“I have done well in
training and am certain to do well in Valencia. This is part of
my preparations for the World Championships, where I hope to do
well in the 10,000m race,” Korikwiang said on Thursday.
The Kenyans will
have to face stiff challenges from the Ethiopian delegation led
by Kajela Diriba, Helen Tola and Gelete Burka.
In the men’s race,
defending champion Abraham Cheroben of Bahrain will strive to
defend his title against an elite team of 30 athletes with 14 of
them having run under 60 minutes. Cheroben won last year’s race
The Kenyan challenge
will be led by Jorum Okombo Lumbasi (58:48), Solomon Yego
(58:44), Mangata Ndiwa (59:09), Abraham Kiptum (59:09) and
Josphat Boit (59:19) with the Ethiopian brigade led by Yemal
Yimer (59:00), Belihu Berta (59:51) and Getaneh Molla (60:18).
Valentine Kipketer confident of
winning Frankfurt marathon
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Former Mumbai and Amsterdam marathon champion
Valentine Kipketer from Kenya is facing a strong challenge with
confidence towards Sunday’s Frankfurt marathon.
The 25-year-old will
be racing in his second marathon this season after winning the
Madrid’s Rock & Roll marathon in April clocking 2:30:40.
However, she will
face headwinds, especially from her countrywomen led by Paris
marathon champion Betsy Saina (2:22:56), Nancy Kiprop (2:24:18),
Janet Rono (2:26:03) and Sylvia Medugu (2:29:09) for the title.
“It will be my first
time to run in Frankfurt,” said Kipketer on Thursday in Nairobi.
“But that does not mean I am afraid. Events of this caliber have
strong women and for me to win, I must be at the top of my game.
My training has gone well and I feel I have the extra energy to
destroy the opposition.”
In March Kipketer
was in position 12 at the Kilimanjaro Half marathon, but she
recovered to go for the gold in Madrid.
But after recovery
from the Madrid exhaustion, Kipketer believes her training has
been strong and challenging enough to propel her to another win
in Germany city.
“The idea is to
leave a lasting mark on the heart of Germans and to do so, I
need to win this race. Many have not believed in me, but I know
what I have done in training and what strategy to use in
Frankfurt,” said Kipketer.
With a personal best
time of 2:23:02 from her win in Amsterdam in 2013, Kipketer
wants to improve on the time, but that will only come if she has
wrapped up the victory.
“The important thing
is to win. I have strong opponents who will push me all through
the course. So time will just fall into place,” she added.
Saina is the fifth
fastest in the elite women’s field with a personal best time of
2:22:56 behind a quartet of Ethiopians led by Mare Dibaba
(2:19:52) and Haftamnesh Tesfay (2:20:13).
The men’s line-up is
headed by Kenya’s Wilson Chebet (2:05:27) and Ethiopia’s Kelkile