By John Kwoba NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s World Cross Country Champion Geoffrey
Kamworor will return to the marathon distance when he lines up at
the New York marathon on Nov. 5 to challenge defending champion
Ghirmay Ghebreslassie from Eritrea.
Kamworor, who opted out of marathon earlier this year to focus on
the track competition, has had bad lack in the 10,000m where he
finished sixth at the London World Championships in August.
It was a worse performance after claiming silver at the Beijing
World Championships where he was beaten by Mo Farah of Britain.
“I have had my time on track now I return to marathon and hopefully,
I will win,” said Kamworor on Thursday from Eldoret.
The reigning world half marathon champion is one of the rising
Kenyan stars in marathon.
The 24-year-old was the 2015 New York Marathon runner-up and is a
four-time world champion, twice in cross-country and twice in the
His personal-best time of 2:06:12 came from his marathon debut in
2012, when he finished third at the Berlin Marathon.
But when turning up in New York in November, Kamworor will seek to
clear his credential as being no fluke and confirm he is a strong
challenger in marathon when he takes up on Ghebreslassie, who is the
sixth fastest entrant in the elite men’s field behind Ethiopians
Lemi Berhanu (2:04:33), Lelisa Desisa (2:04:45), Switzerland’s
Tadesse Abraham (2:06:40) and Kenya’s Lucas Rotich (2:07:17).
The New York Marathon will have a world-class field representing 27
countries including 22 Olympians, 11 Paralympians and 16 athletes -
10 in the open division and seven in the wheelchair division - who
have previously finished on the New York City Marathon podium.
“Having Ghirmay, Marcel, and Mary return to the streets of New York
to defend their titles among a group of athletes ... is a true
testament to the TCS New York City Marathon being one of the most
world-class and universally diverse sporting events,” said Peter
Ciaccia, the race director of New York Marathon in an press
Ghebreslassie, 21, became the youngest men’ s winner in the history
of the New York City Marathon last year, breaking the tape in
He posted the third-fastest winning time in history, and was the
first Eritrean winner in race history. In 2015, he became the
youngest winner in IAAF World Championships Marathon history, and
his gold medal was Eritrea’s first ever at the event.
He was fourth at the Rio 2016 Olympic Marathon and owns a
personal-best of 2:07:46 from last year’s London Marathon, where he
also finished fourth.
“I’m proud to return to New York to defend my title as the TCS New
York City Marathon champion,” Ghebreslassie said.
“The crowds along the course are fresh in my memory, and I will work
hard to do well again this year.” But that will not deter Kamworor
from going for the bounty.