Unbowed Kirui vows to reclaim Chicago title


TRAIL-BLAZING:A proud Kirui celebrates with the Kenyan flag after conquest in a past race....
TRAIL-BLAZING:A proud Kirui celebrates with the Kenyan flag after conquest in a past race.He finished second in Sunday's Chicago Marathon.Image/Courtesy.

After claiming a second place finish in Sunday’s Chicago Marathon, London Olympic Games silver medallist Abel Kirui has said that he will be angling to reclaim his title in next year’s race.

Kirui was the toast of the race in 2006 beating all in sundry to claim a podium finish but his efforts to defend the crown on Sunday ran into a brick wall after he came second behind American Glaen Rupp who claimed the top prize in 2:09:19hrs.

Niggling injury

At the same time, the 2007 Berlin Marthon runner’s up said that he did not want to push hard to upset a niggling tendon injury that he suffered a few months to the marathon.

Kirui added that the injury caused him to lose a bit on speed though he reckons he made some gains three weeks to the race.

American Rupp was the unheralded golden boy of the race overcoming Kirui at the 35 km mark and kept a comfortable pace to finish 14 seconds ahead of the defending champion.

Kirui came second in 2:09.48 while his Global Sports training partner and two- time Amstedarm Marathon champion Bernard ‘Junior’ Kipyegon sealed a third place in 2:10.23.

Race favourites, world record holder Dennis Kimetto and two time Chicago Marathon champion Florence Kiplagat dropped out after 21km and 20km respectively.

Kirui, 37, a Kenya Administration Police officer also said that he is happy for Rupp who defied the odds to beat a stellar cast of athletes.

“We celebrate Rupp. He is young and energetic with lots of races ahead of him. I was prepared for any eventualities during the race. I was targeting to defend my title but I did not know that Rupp was in good shape. I knew Kipyegon (Bernard) would be my biggest competitor since we are under the same training programme,”Kirui said in an interview with Let’srun.com

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 08: Galen Rupp of the United States wins the men's race with a time of 2:09:20 during the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 8, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. Images/AFP
CHICAGO, IL – OCTOBER 08: Galen Rupp of the United States wins the men’s race with a time of 2:09:20 during the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 8, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. Images/AFP

The two-time world champion added that Rupp’s victory shows that Kenyans and Ethiopians who have been dominant over the distance can be challenged.

Turinesh Dibaba of Ethiopia took the women’s race in 2:18.30 ahead of former Amsterdam Marathon champion Kosgei who took second place in 2: 20.22. American Jordan Hasay came third in 2:20.57.

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 08: Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia wins the women's race with a time of 2:18:31 during the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 8, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. mages/AFP
CHICAGO, IL – OCTOBER 08: Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia wins the women’s race with a time of 2:18:31 during the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 8, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. mages/AFP

Meanwhile, President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto led Kenyans in congratulating Kirui, Kipyegon and women’s podium finisher Brigid Kosgei.

“Congratulations to Brigid Kosgei on finishing second at the 2017 Chicago Marathon,” posted Uhuru in his official Twitter account.

“Kudos to Abel Kirui, Bernard Kipyego for finishing 2nd and 3rd in the Chicago Marathon and Brigid Kosgei, runners up in the women’s race,” tweeted Ruto.

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