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Road running star takes challenge to India

Ericcson Kiprono @PeopleSport11

Vattenfall Berlin Half marathon past winner Jacob Kendagor will be leading Kenya’s elite athletes during the 16th edition of Tata Mumbai Marathon schedule for January 20.

Kendagor won in Vattenfall in 2013 after clocking 59:36 minutes and it was the fifth fastest result in the world that year.

“I am well prepared for this marathon and I am hopeful that I will win even though there will be a stiff challenge from Ethiopians,” said Kendagor.

Other Kenya’s elite athletes for the marathon are Elijah Kemboi who has a personal best of 2:07.34, Cosmas Lagat (2:08.14) Kipkemoi

Kipsang(2:08.25) Silas Too (2:08.26) Eliud Barngetuny (2:10.15) and Daniel Muteti (debut). Kendagor has a personal best of 2;07.33.

He is hoping that success in the Mumbai Marathon will help him book a place for the IAAF World Athletics Championship in Doha Qatar later this year.

During last year’s marathon, Ethiopia’s athletes took the honours with victories in both the men and women category and runners from this country head the elite fields this year.

Leading the men’s list is Abera Kuma who has run under 2:08.00 and 2:09.00. Kuma 28, ran his personal best of 2:05.50 when he finished second in last year’s Rotterdam marathon and in that sort of form could certainly challenge the Tata Mumbai Marathon course record of 2:08.35 set by Gedion Kipketer in 2016.

One man who has experience of this marathon and having raced in the country several times before is Bahrain’s Shumi Dechasa who finished fourth in last year’s race.

The 29-year-old Dechasa is the second fastest man in the field with a best of 2:06.43 and has been a top-15 finisher at the last two world championships. No less than nine men in this year’s race have personal best faster than the course record and will be motivated by the fact that a US$45,000 prize money is on offer for both men and women.

Over 40,000 runners, including some of the worlds best, are gearing up for this race, expected to be enthralling and entertaining.

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