Lonyangata out to turn Paris miss to Doha gold


Lonyangata out to turn Paris miss to Doha gold
Kenya's Paul Lonyangata celebrates as he places first in the Men's Group during the 42nd edition of the Paris Marathon on April 8, 2018 in Paris. / AFP PHOTO / Eric FEFERBERG

In Summary

  • Paul Lonyangata became the first athlete in 28 years to claim back-to-back Paris Marathon last year but missed out on a piece of his own history early this year in April
  • The lanky Kenyan runner could claimed a historic third successive title at the French capital but slipped back as Ethiopian Abrha Milaw won the race

Paul Lonyangata became the first athlete in 28 years to claim back-to-back Paris Marathon last year but missed out on a piece of his own history early this year in April.

The lanky Kenyan runner could claimed a historic third successive title at the French capital but slipped back as Ethiopian Abrha Milaw won the race.

Lonyangata says that near miss will inspire him to chase for gold at the IAAF World Athletics Championships set for September 27th to October 6th in Doha, Qatar. He says he has shaken off an injury he sustained in Paris.

“I had prepared well for Paris, but two weeks to the event I injured my arm in training which forced me to go to Italy for surgery and I only had three days before the event; many were surprised the condition I ran in that race and also the time,” Lonyangata told Citizen Digital.

He however says that’s water under the bridge as he returned to Argentina half marathon on August 25th this year to test his endurance clocking 00:59:48 finishing third.

“2:07:29 was perfect for me in Paris where I encountered many problems, but a return to Argentina half marathon was even better for me, I tested my body in readiness to Doha and I know am ready”’ he added.

He says his focus now turns to Doha, where he is expecting stiff challenge not only from fellow athletes but also Mother Nature.

“My training is mostly at Midday here in Kenya targeting the hot condition in Doha although it won’t be a problem for me only, running at night is the challenge I have always run all my marathons in the mornings and this will be at midnight when the body is ready to sleep,”

“Am currently sleeping in the afternoon so that my body will get used to not being sleepy at mid night,” He said.

The athlete, who hails from West Pokot County, will partner with defending champion Geoffrey Kirui, Amos Kipruto and Laban Korir, with the race set for the ninth day, October 5th 23:59 EAT.

“The team is in good shape and if we work on team work, that is the only way we can secure the all the medals for Kenya without focusing who will win what”, Lonyangata Concluded.

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Story By Philip Muchiri
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