Kotut, Chesir lead Singapore Marathon glory hunt

Rebecca Kangogo Chesir wins the Singapore Marathon (PHOTO/IAAF/Organisers)
Rebecca Kangogo Chesir wins the Singapore Marathon (PHOTO/IAAF/Organisers)

Kenyans Cyprian Kotut and Rebecca Chesir will lead their respective fields at the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon on Sunday.

Chesir returns to the southeast Asian island city-state to defend her title in the women’s race. Running in warm conditions after an early 04:30 start, Chesir won last year’s edition by more than a minute in 2:43:03.

But the 25-year-old has run considerably faster several times in her career, topped by a 2:24:25 run in Vienna last April where she finished second. More recently, she finished second in Beijing in September, clocking 2:30:31.

Others expected in the chase are her compatriots Peninah Arusei and Pamela Rotich. Arusei, 38, set her 2:27:17 best back in 2011, but has remained competitive, finishing second at the Warsaw Half Marathon in March in 1:11:31 and third at the Hengshui Marathon in September clocking 2:30:58.

Rotich meanwhile won her only marathon outing of the year, clocking a lifetime best 2:27:48 in Daegu in April.

In the men’s race, Kotut leads a solid field. The Kenyan won the Paris Marathon last year in 2:07:11, his lifetime best. He followed up with a solid third place showing in Frankfurt six months later, clocking 2:07:28.

But the 25-year-old has raced just once since, a modest 1:03:53 outing at the Paris Half Marathon last March, leaving a question mark over his current form.

His compatriot Jonah Chesum has better momentum at the moment. The 28-year-old won the Barcelona Marathon in March in his debut over the distance, clocking 2:08:57. He followed up with a 2:10:47 run in Gold Coast in July where he finished fifth.

Evergreen Mark Kiptoo is also in the field, the 41-year-old Kenyan whose 2:06:00 lifetime best from 2015 is the fastest among the entrants. Most recently, Kiptoo clocked 2:10:45 in April’s Paris Marathon where he was 14th.

Dereje Debele will lead the Ethiopian charge. The 31-year-old has a 2:07:48 personal best, which dates back to his victory in Dusseldorf in 2013.

He was second in Oita this past February in 2:10:23. He’ll be joined by compatriot Abebe Negewo, the 2015 Rome Marathon winner who has a 2:08:46 best.

The women’s race record of 2:31:55, set by Salina Kosgei, dates back more than a decade to 2016. The men’s record stands at 2:11:25, set by Luke Kibet in 2009.

-Report by iaaf.org

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