(Xinhua) -- Kenyan Martin Kosgey, a silver medalist from
2016, said he is eyeing fast time and a win as he returns to
Frankfurt course on Sunday.
Kosgey said lack of wins in the marathon saw him
overlooked for selection to the Rio Olympics and the
World Championships in Beijing and London.
However, he is certain that with a win in Frankfurt, he
will be closer to breaking into the Kenyan team for the
2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar.
“It is easier to win a marathon than to be named in the
Kenya team. I believe with a win in Frankfurt, and
another one in early next year, I will have better
chance of making it to the Kenya team. The important
thing is that I am strong and injury-free after three
months of training. I fear nobody and I’m ready for the
hard task in Germany,” said Kosgey on Saturday.
While Kosgey plans to go with the first group, so does
Wilson Chebet, the three-time Amsterdam winner
(2011-2013) who has done some training runs together
with Frankfurt’s course record holder and former world
record holder Wilson Kipsang.
To win the title, Kosgey, clocking 2:07:22 to finish
runner-up in 2016, also needs to beat Ethiopian Kelkile
Gezahegn, who ran 2:06:56 in Frankfurt for second place
last year and then improved his record to 2:05:56 for
third place in Rotterdam in April.
With organizers bringing together 14 men who have run
faster than 2:10.00, race director Christoph Kopp said
they target fast time of 2:04.00.
“Our idea is to cover the first half in around 62
minutes 40 seconds. In Frankfurt, we often have a faster
second half, which is what we hope to see on Sunday as
well,” Kopp said in a statement.
A number of debutantes from East Africa could spring a
surprise. Among them is Kenya’s Alex Kibet, who has run
a world-class top time of 59:06 at this year’s Ras Al
Khaimah Half Marathon in the United Arab Emirates in
Olympic bronze medalist Mare Dibaba, who is also the
2015 Beijing World Championship winner, leads the women
field. She faces stiff challenge from Paris champion
Betsy Saina (2:22:56).
“My victory in Paris gave me a lot of confidence,” Saina
“Since my race in Paris I know that the marathon is my
event and in Frankfurt I want to improve my time,” she