NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Former
two-time world marathon champion Abel Kirui of Kenya has dismissed critics,
saying he remains strong to retain his Chicago marathon title on October 8.
missed out on the podium finish at the London Marathon in April and wants to
remedy that disappointing performance with a fast run in Chicago.
Kirui has ruled out going for the world record on the fast Chicago course, but
will welcome running another personal best time.
“I had high
expectations for London marathon. It was a strong performance and finishing
fourth was a good attempt. But now that is past. I must focus on defending my
title in Chicago,” Kirui said on Tuesday from Eldoret.
London Marathon I suffered a hip injury while in training and I competed not at
100 percent. It has since healed and am enjoying training here in Eldoret. I had
a tendon injury two months ago but I took my time, it’s now fully healed.”
strong kick and change of tact was enough to see him fend off a late surge from
then defending champion Dickson Chumba.
will be no love lost when the Kirui faces one of the strongest field ever
assembled on Oct. 8 as he remains optimistic he will prove his performance was
“It is true
before last year win in Chicago, I had a lot of injuries. But I am now fine and
looking forward to challenge for the medal. I have been injury free this season
and hopefully that will see me reap the dividends with another win in Chicago,”
not be back to try and reclaim his crown, but that does not mean that Kirui will
have a walk in the pack to win his second title in Chicago.
There will be
world record holder Dennis Kimetto, who won in Chicago back in 2013.
like Kirui, has had a struggle to remain injury free and has not registered a
single win in any marathon in the last three seasons.
the Chicago course record of 2:03:45 when he won in 2013 and will be hunting for
top podium finish.
conquest was in Berlin, 2014 when he set a WR of 2:02.57. There will also be
Stephen Sambu from Kenya. In his marathon debut last year, Sambu clocked 2:13.35
for fifth place
Olympics bronze medalist Zersenay Tadese, of Eritrea, could spoil the party for
Kirui given his speed over the 10,000m and the half marathon (WR 58:23).
retiring from the track, Tadese has only finished three marathons; London 2010
and 2012 and the Nike Breaking2 marathon.
He failed to
finish in Chicago and Boston back in 2013 and 2015. But has a personal best of