Kamworor, Flanagan put NYC Marathon titles on line


Geoffrey Kamworor holds off Wilson Kipsang to win the 2017 New York Marathon (PHOTO/IAAF/Gett ...
Geoffrey Kamworor holds off Wilson Kipsang to win the 2017 New York Marathon (PHOTO/IAAF/Gett Images)

In Summary

  • The 2018 New York City marathon set for Sunday, November 4 is in for another fireworks with both defending champions; Geoffrey Kamworor of Kenya and America’s Shalane Flanagan putting their titles on the line
  • Kamworor  who won the 2017 race in 2:10:53 ahead of his compatriot Wilson Kipsang  (2:10:56) said his main ambition heading to Sunday’s  race is to retain the title he won twelve months ago in what was his maiden marathon race

The 2018 New York City marathon set for Sunday, November 4 is in for another fireworks with both defending champions; Geoffrey Kamworor of Kenya and America’s Shalane Flanagan putting their titles on the line.

Kamworor  who won the 2017 race in 2:10:53 ahead of his compatriot Wilson Kipsang  (2:10:56) said his main ambition heading to Sunday’s  race is to retain the title he won twelve months ago in what was his maiden marathon race.

“My preparations have been good since I have not had any challenge. My main aim is to go to New York and do what I did last year which is to win but I am aware that all depends on hard work and focus in the race,” Kamworor said last month while in training.

The three-time World Half Marathon champion will however face stern test as he will be up against the 2017 London Marathon champion Daniel Wanjiru who is working his way back to winning ways after shaking off an injury that left him eighth at this year’s London marathon held in April.

For Wanjiru, who will be making his New York Marathon debut, it is another chance for him to redeem his season after failing to defend his London marathon title in April although he is wary of the challenge that awaits him.

“Being my first race coming from injury I cannot be over ambitious but I am ready to give a good account of myself even though I know that I will be up for a stiff challenge,” Wanjiru told Citizen Digital two weeks ago.

Kenyan-born Bernard Lagat of United States should not be written off either as he will be making his full marathon debut on Sunday.

Lagat had a glittering career in track where specializing in 1500m and 5000m where he won a silver and bronze in Olympic Games and two gold medals in the 2007 World Championships in Osaka, Japan among others.

The 43 year old would later shift to road running in 2017 where he served as a pacer for Nike Breaking 2 attempt at achieving a sub 2-hour marathon time before later participating in the Great North Run half marathon where he settled for position eight in 1:03:02.

His half marathon Personal Best (PB) stands at 1:02 he timed at the Houston Half Marathon held in January 2018.

Kenya’s Shadrack Biwott who finished fifth at the 2016 New York City Marathon and third in this year’s Boston marathon will be in contention as well.

For the women, all eyes will focus on three-time Champion Mary Keitany who finished second last year in 2:27:54 and Flanagan who is the first American in four decades seeking to defend her crown.

The American clocked 2:26:53 to end Keitany’s winning streak as the Kenyan was eyeing a record fourth win in a row after emerging top in 2014, 2015 and 2016 becoming the first Kenyan to reach that heights.

The 37 year old American who finished seventh in this year’s Boston marathon said although she is ready to defend her title, she is under no pressure at all.

“I feel like I can take big risks this year. That the beauty of being the defending champion. I’ve already accomplished what I really wanted, so I have the ability to really do whatever I want. I don’t feel panicky desperation to win- I am calm and calculated, but also willing to do big things,” Flanagan told Runners World.

Apart from the duo, Boston marathon champion Desiree Linden of America and the 2017 second runners up Mamitu Daska of Ethiopia are also on the start list.

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Story By Gilbert Kiprotich
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