Chumba leads Toronto field as Kenyans chase honours
As the long weekend approaches, Kenyan athletes are poised to continue their dominance in long distance running by conquering various international races over the weekend.
After failing to get an opportunity to go and reclaim his 2015 Chicago Marathon title, Dickson Chumba is in Toronto, a City in Canada, with intentions of dethroning Philemon Rono, his Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon seat.
Earlier this year, on February 28, Chumba finished third after stopping the timer at 2:06.25, while London Olympics Games bronze medalist Wilson Kipsang (2:03:58) and Gideon Kipketer (2:05:51) went for a 1,2 finish.
Chumba will also be on the look out for Anthony Maritim who has a season best of 2:09:11 and Eric Ndiema who has a personal best of 2: 06.07.
In the women’s race, Angela Tanui and former Scotiabank Blue Nose Marathon champion Sarah Jebet will hit Toronto streets with aim of giving Kenyans a reason to extend their Mashujaa Day celebrations with podium finishes.
Their main mission will be claiming the women’s race honours that were last won by Flomena Cheyech in 2013, though their biggest competitors will be from Ethiopia who have won seven out ten races in a span of 10 years.
Tanui made her full marathon debut earlier this year during the Vienna Marathon where she stopped the timer at 2:26.31 for fifth place. She will be going for her second full marathon with personal bests of 31:26 in the 10km and 1:07:16 in the half marathon races.
“I learnt that the marathon is a calculation race which needs a smart mind,” she reveals. “I have increased the mileage per week and have planned an extra-long run (35 kilometres) compared to the last marathon preparation.
“My expectation is to run a personal best. With the debut in Vienna I am confident I learned a lot and can really improve. I can’t tell (by how much) but that is my inner prayer. Of course, the training was tougher and I will arrive much better prepared for this event in Toronto,” Tanui told the IAAF.
Last year Jebet was the second runner up during the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon, in Germany with a time of 02:27:07 behind Ethiopian Mamitu Daska (02:25:27) and home favorite Tola Fate (02:25:42).
Locally, Hosea Mwok Macharinyang and Lucy Cheruiyot will defend their Safaricom Madoka Half Marathon this Saturday 21 in Mwatate, Taita.
Last year, Macharinyang claimed the men’s top honors in 1:7.14 ahead of Nichodemus Kipkurui (1:7:23) and Simon Kiluthi (1:7.38) who settled for 2 and 3 positions respectively.
His counterpart Cheruiyot claimed the women’s title in 1:19.24 while Edith Chelimo stopped the timer at 1:20:13 for second place followed closely by Pauline Wangui 1:20.13 who sealed the last podium slot available
-Material sourced from www.iaaf.org was used to compile this report.
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