Kenya’s Vincent Kipruto on Thursday confirmed he will seek fast time as he competes in Japan at the Lake Biwa Marathon on March 5.
With little hope of getting selection to the Kenyan team to the World Championships in London, Kipruto who is the Xiamen Marathon champion from China is ready to risk everything to improve on his personal best time.
“It is hard to get into Kenyan team because there are so many runners who are vying for the positions available. But I hope if I continue doing well, I may soon get myself in the team and that is why I have to do well at Lake Biwa event,” Kipruto said.
Indeed, alongside challenge from compatriot Ezekiel Kiptoo Chebii, there will be other danger looming especially from Ethiopia’s Endeshaw Negesse, who leads the entries for the marathon, which is ranked as an IAAF Gold Label race.
Negesse, who is the 2015 Tokyo Marathon champion, set his best time of 2:04:52 during the Dubai Marathon back in 2013 and has a lot of experience in road running. This fast time makes him the fastest in this year’s field, but this will be his first race in 16 months.
Kipruto and Kiptoo will be his main challengers. Kiptoo has been improving steadily in recent years. He reduced his best time to 2:06:07 at last year’s Amsterdam Marathon.
World bronze medalist Solomon Mutai excels at championships, but the Ugandan is still awaiting a breakthrough in an international marathon and will be aiming to do better than his 11th-place finish from last year.
Eritrean Olympian Tewelde Estifanos, Ethiopian 20-year-old Yihunilgn Adane and marathon debutant El Hassan Elabbassi of Bahrain are also set to compete.
The race is also the final opportunity for Japanese marathon runners to impress the team selectors ahead of the IAAF World Championships London 2017. Enditem