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Jeptoo, Kiplagat confirmed for Chicago Marathon

05 September 2014, 15:07

Nairobi - Kenya's defending champion Rita Jeptoo was named among the elite runners that will compete in next month's Chicago Marathon.

The field will also feature world record-holder Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia while Kenya's Dennis Kimetto, last year's men's winner at Chicago in a course record of 2:3:45 has opted to run in this month's Berlin Marathon instead of defending his crown on October 12.

Other familiar faces includes Eliud Kipchoge who made his move to the longer distance last year at Hamburg.

Jeptoo makes her return to Chicago having won the Boston Marathon in a course record 2:18:57 back in April.

Men's stars include Bekele and Kipchoge, whose personal best is 2:04:05, plus Kenyans Sammy Kitwara (2:05:16), Bernard Koech (2:04:53) and Dickson Chumba (2:05:42).

Read also: Mekhissi aims to topple Kenyan steeplechase hegemony

Jeptoo's fastest rivals include training partner Jemima Sumgong (2:20:48), fellow-Kenyan Florence Kiplagat (2:19:44) and Ethiopia's Birhane Dibaba (2:22:30).

Kipchoge, the 2003 world champion at 5,000m who took medals at the Athens and Beijing Olympics, won this year's Rotterdam Marathon in 2:05:00.

"I am looking forward to coming to Chicago and competing with Kenenisa on the road this time," Kipchoge said.

"It has a fast course and I want to better my personal best."

Kitwara was third last year in a personal best while Koech beat Kipchoge in last year's San Diego Half Marathon.

Jeptoo could become only the third woman to break 2min 20seconds for a third time in her career while Sumgong, who won last year at Rotterdam, stayed with Jeptoo over the first 35 kilometers last year on her way to second place.

Read also:
National hockey teams start Olympic journey

Kiplagat, who pulled out of the 2012 Chicago marathon with an injury is aiming to lower her personal best. She won the Berlin title last year and in 2011.

"It's no retreat and no surrender for me," Kiplagat said.

"It’s a do-or-die game and I will give all my best to succeed."
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- News24

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