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Kipsang eyes gold in second marathon in Rotterdam

10 April 2013, 18:10

Nairobi - In 20 years, many youths are unconcerned about the trends in their career. They enjoy a blithe touch in their life where they live by the cliff top.

It is not the same to Berlin marathon bronze medalist Geoffrey Kipsang. The 20-year-old is just off the blocks in his life as a senior athlete and already has a cabinet awash with medals.

"I had my debut at the marathon in Berlin and I believe I passed the test well to finish third against strong runners like Geoffrey Mutai and Dennis Kimetto (winner of Tokyo marathon). But that proved nothing. I still need that winner's gong. I feel good now to compete in marathon," Kipsang said on Wednesday in Eldoret.

Alongside his third position finish in Berlin, Kipsang in February got his revenge to beat Mutai at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in the United Arab Emirates winning in 58:54.

Mutai was third with a time of 58:58 behind Stanley Biwott (58:56) in second. "It was a great test running against top runners. The target was to break the world half marathon record of 58.23 by Eritrean Zersenay Tadese set in Lisbon in 2010," he said.

Kipsang will lead a classy group of Kenyans in Sunday's Rotterdam marathon, where alongside winning the title, he will be gunning to get noticed by Kenyan selectors and be included in the national team for the World championships in Moscow in August.

Wilson Kwambai Chebet, John Mwangangi, Joel Kemboi Kimurer and Sammy Kitwara will be the other top Kenyans eyeing to reclaim the title that was won by Ethiopia's Yemane Adhane, who edged out Moses Mosop (2:03.06) to third.

Chebet, wrote a new chapter in Dutch marathon running history when in 2011 he won both Rotterdam and Amsterdam races and in turn got his best display to clock 2:05.53 a personal best mark.

Chebet won his maiden marathon in 2:05.27 at Rotterdam Marathon and went for a successive win 2:05.57 at the Amsterdam Marathon in 2011.

"I missed Rotterdam last year to compete in Boston but I hope to be back to impressive performance this year," said Chebet.

But it would be wrong to rule out Kitwara. The Kenya Policeman holds a personal best time of 2:05.54, which he got at the Chicago Marathon last year. This was his second marathon after he debut in Rotterdam in April last year, albeit as a pacesetter.

Three years ago, Kitwara won the hearts of Rotterdam people when he won the half marathon race. Rotterdam includes at least six and probably even more athletes capable of breaking the course record.

Current course record of 2.04.27 set in 2009 by Kenyan runners Duncan Kibet and James Kwambai, who, crossed the finish line with the same time, is still intact.

Berhanu Shiferaw will lead Ethiopian challenge, with a personal record of 2.04.48. There is also Getu Feleke (2.04.50) and Bazu Worku (Ken, 2.05.25)

Kenyan women representation will be led by Jemima Jelagat Sumgong, a runner-up at the Boston Marathon last year (2:28:32). Ethiopia's Tiki Gelana won the race last year. She will be back to defend her crown.

- Xinhua


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