Cheruiyot on hunt for road success in Frankfurt
After a successful career spanning 18 years on the track, Olympic champion Vivian Cheruiyot is out get her first road race crown this Sunday when she competes at the Frankfurt Marathon.
At the same time, defending men’s Frankfurt champion and 2015 Paris Marathon winner, Mark Korir, will be out for second victory in the German city.
In her career as a track athlete, Cheruiyot has won two Olympic Games silver medals in Rio, in the 10, 000m race, and in London, where she bagged the 5,000m. She also has under her belt five IAAF World Championships titles.
Cheruiyot will be the first Olympic champion to grace the Frankfurt Marathon.
The 34 year old, 10,000m London Games bronze medalist will set her eyes on the five-year old course record of 2:21.01 set by Ethiopian Meselech Melkamu. The race organisers have set aside a bonus of Sh 4.1million (€30,000).
The 2007 Osaka World Championships 5,000m silver medalist made her marathon debut in April during London Marathon. She finished fourth, out of the medal bracket with a time of 2:23.50, as three time New York City Marathon champion Mary Keitany reclaimed her 2012 title and set a women only world record of 2:17.01 .
As part of preparations for her second marathon, Cheruiyot finished second behind Keitany during the 21km Great North Run on September 10. .
Cheruiyot stopped the timer at 1:07.44 for second podium place as Keitany race honours in 1:05.59.
However, on Sunday, her strongest opponent will be from East Africa, Feyese Tadese and Abebech Afework of Ethiopia.
Tadese is the fastest on the course with a personal best (PB) of 2:20.27 from Berlin Marathon achieved two years ago, while Afework has a PB of 2:23.33.
In the men’s race, Korir is determined not to relinquish his top podium position to anybody after tasting the joys of victory two times.
The 32 year old Korir, clinched last year’s victory in 2:06.48 about a minute slower from his PB of 2:05.49, clocked during his 2015 Paris triumph.
Last year’s runners up Martin Kosgey who set a PB of 2:09.50 will be out to give Koriri a run for his money.
Second runner up finisher and 2016 Paris Marathon champion Cyprus Kotut bowed out of the competition after suffering a tendon injury.
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