2015 Berlin champ Cherono targets Roma Ostia Half glory
Former world champion, Gladys Cherono, is out to bounce back to form at the 43rd edition of the Roma Ostia Half Marathon on Sunday.
Cherono who won the 2014 World Half title in Copenhagen, Denmark ran a lifetime best in the marathon of 2:19:25 to win the 2015 Berlin city race before clocking her half marathon PB of 69:07 in finishing second at the Ras-Al-Khaimah Half last year.
According to organisers, Cherono will line up against compatriots Angela Tanui who finished second at Ostia last year in a 67:16 personal best as well as Rebecca Kangogo Chesire who won the Stramilano Half in 2015.
Experienced Ethiopian Asifelech Mergia who finished runner-up in the 2015 New York City Marathon and won the bronze at the 2009 IAAF World Championships in Berlin is the main threat in the field to the Kenyans.
Mergia set her half marathon personal best with 67:21 in 2011 and clocked the fastest time of her career in the marathon with 2:19:31 in Dubai in 2015.
Italian hopes will be carried by Rosaria Console, who ran for the first time at the Roma Ostia in 2003 when she finished second.
Console has contested the race seven times in her career and won in 2005 with 1:09:34.
In the corresponding men’s race, Kenyan Peter Kwemoi Ndorobo, who finished eighth in 2015 clocking 61:38 and fourth in 2016 with 60:13 returns to pursue victory at the time of asking.
The favourites for the win however are Morocco’s Aziz Lahbabi and Uganda’s Geoffrey Kusuro will make their return to the event.
Lahbabi will be bidding to win the Roma Ostia for the second time, three years after clocking an impressive lifetime best of 59:25. Lahbabi has also clocked a lifetime best of 13:04.06 in the 5000m on the track.
Kusuro finished third in the Italian capital in 2015 with his personal best of 59:43.
The fastest runner in the men’s field is Ethiopian Guye Adola, who won the bronze medal at the 2014 World Half in Copenhagen with 59:21 and has notable personal bests of 27:09.78 in the 10,000m from Eugene in 2014 and 59:09 over the half marathon distance from New Dehli in 2014.
Last year the men’s race grabbed headlines when Kenyan Solomon Kirwa Yego set the course record with a jaw-dropping 58:44 performance, the fourth fastest time in history.
The popular Roma Ostia Half Marathon race has attracted no less than 12253 runners.
-Report sourced from the IAAF
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