Mutai plots Negewo fall at Cape Town Marathon

Laban Mutai celebrates winning the 2014 Linz Marathon. (PHOTO/APA/Courtesy)
Laban Mutai celebrates winning the 2014 Linz Marathon. (PHOTO/APA/Courtesy)

The 2014 Linz Marathon champion Laban Mutai will be gunning to dethrone defending champion Asefa Negewo of Ethiopia at the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, in South Africa on September 17.

Mutai, who is back after suffering an injury earlier this year, is the fastest man on the course with a personal best (PB) of 2:08.01 and is optimistic that he will tilt the Kenya-Ethiopia rivalry back in his home country’s favour.

Mutai, 32, says he anticipates tough competition from his compatriots Duncan Maiyo – twice a Brighton Marathon champion with a PB of 2:09.25 – as well as debutant Ezekiel Tarus.

“This is my first race since last year but my target in Cape Town will be victory. After my victory in last year’s Ljubljana Marathon I came and started preparing for the Prague Marathon but got an injury just before the race,” Mutai said.

It will be the first time the Global Sport Communication athlete will be competing in South Africa after having successful outings in Europe and Japan.

The soft-spoken Mutai, hopes to compete in the Abbott World Marathon Majors alongside his idol and training partner Eliud Kipchoge, the Olympic champion.

“It feels good to train alongside my friends Eliud, two-time world champion Abel Kirui and others in the camp. I feel inspired seeing them race in those big competition. I hope to make it to next year’s Team Kenya for the Commonwealth Games and even the next World Championships.

In the women’s elite field New Delhi Commonwealth Games 10,000m silver medalist Doris Chepkwemoi Changeywo will team up with Agnes Jepkemboi Kiprop to ensure a Kenya 1,2 finish.

Kiprop who has a personal best of 2:23.54 will lead the seven other title contenders as she keeps a keen eye on defending champion Tish Jones from the United Kingdom.

In a relatively slow race, Tish upset the East African runners last year to take top podium place in 2:33.56. Ethiopian Megertu Geletu clocked 2:36.34 to take second place while home girl Lebogang Phalula, settled for third place in 2:38.00.

-Report by Erastus Muturi.

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