Emmanuel Masinde @PeopleSport11
Three-time World half marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor has blamed a back injury for hindering him to successfully defend his New York Marathon title on November 4.
Kamworor, a pre-race favourite looked destined for another victory until he uncharacteristically slowed down with about four kilometres to go, allowing Ethiopia duo of Lelisa Desisa and Shura Kitata to pass him and go for the price.
He eventually finished the race third in a time of 2:06.26, with Desisa ruling the roost in a time of 2:05.59 and Kitata settling for second position in a time of 2:06.01
“I had a sharp pain on my back and it immediately slowed me down and had me struggle for the rest of the race as my opponents overtook me. These things happen in races, it was unfortunate, but I’m no longer feeling the pain and checks show no injury,” Kamworor told People Sports in Iten.
He added: “I was confident of defending the title, but there is always another time. Now I want to shift my focus on competing at the World Cross Country Championships.”
The runner who also doubles up as a police officer, has proved to be the most versatile distance runner of his generation. Besides his hat -trick win at World Half Marathon Championships he has also scooped back-to-back World Cross Country titles and also claimed 2015 world silver on the track over 10,000m, earning him the name, ‘The Man of all Surfaces’.
In 2017 he proved a formidable competitor over the 42km distance when he made his debut and secured a maiden victory at the New York City marathon.
He made his break through in the senior races 2014, during the World Half Marathon Championships in Denmark and has never looked back ever since, going ahead to win the Bangalore 10km road race in India, before leading a podium sweep in Bogota 21km race in Colombia the same year.
At 26, Kamworor trains with world leading marathon greats like Ugandan Olympic and World Champion Stephen Kiprotich and reigning World Marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge at Global Sports Communication (GSC) in Kaptagat, Uasin Gishu County. He said that when in training they work as a team which inspires everyone to win their respective races.