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Battle of titans as Kenya seek to dominate World Half Marathon

26 March 2016, 12:34

Nairobi  (Xinhua) -- The gloves will be off when the world' s best distance runners converge in Cardiff on Saturday for the World Half Marathon.

Defending champion Geoffrey Kamworor will be putting his title on the line as he seeks revenge of World 10,000m champion Mo Farah.

There will also be Bedan Karoki, fourth in Beijing in the 25-lap race and silver medalist at the World Cross Country Championships in Guiyang.

"The preparations have been good and we have covered all the areas required. It is another opportunity for us to face each other again. Mo Farah is a great athlete and it will be pleasure to compete against him in Cardiff," Kamworor said on Thursday in Nairobi.

The team has left for Cardiff and expressed confidence, it will dominate the games like was the case two years ago in Denmark.

Kenya, which saw two top women runners New York marathon winner Mary Keitany, Berlin Marathon champion Gladys Cherono and Florence Kiplagat pull out is still parading a strong squad.

Houston half marathon victor Mary Wacera is hopeful she can improve on her individual silver medal from the 2014 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships.

"I am in a better form than when I took silver in Copenhagen. One can' t be sure of winning since anything can happen. I can only hope and pray for the best," she said.

Wacera won the Houston Half Marathon at the start of the year in a personal best time of 66:29.

Nearly 200 international athletes, including Kenya' s defending men' s champion Geoffrey Kamworor, are expected to be in action in the Welsh capital as 190 athletes (99 men and 91 women) have been confirmed as entered by 49 IAAF Member Federations. Latest withdrawal was Djibouti.

Eritrean World record-holder Zersenay Tadese (has record number of 13 medals from this event) pulled out of the World Half Marathon Championships in Cardiff due to illness which forced him to spend ten days in bed.

He will miss so his 10th record appearance at this championships which started in 1992.

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- Xinhua


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