Nairobi, Sep 16 (IANS) Mariko Kipchumba of Kenya will defend his title in the Beijing Marathon, world’s athletics body IAAF confirmed on Friday.
Kipchumba has pencilled a fast time as a priority for him as he lays down his title at the Beijing Marathon on Saturday, reports Xinhua.
The 42-year-old Kipchumba is in the sunset phase of his illustrious marathon career, but believes he has what it takes to run faster and improve his personal best, which stands at 2 hours 6 minutes and 5 seconds.
“Beijing has a good course and I was lucky to win there last year. But it is always important to note that winning a marathon is not just down to your training, it also depends on the weather of the day and how others have prepared. I have done my part and hopefully, my legs will allow me to carry the day,” he said.
Last year, the Kenyan veteran, who ran down runners nearly half his age to take the title in the Chinese capital, has thrown down the gauntlet and hopes the young will lack the courage to take him head on.
Kipchumba will be gunning to become just the fourth man to successfully defend the Beijing crown.
He won here last year in 2:11:00 but his form this weekend will be shrouded in mystery given he hasn’t raced over the distance since his modest eighth place showing at the Shanghai Marathon last November.
Alongside the Kenyan, there are seven other runners with sub-2:10 personal best time including Ethiopia’s Mesfin Teshome, who ran 2:09:24 in the Dubai Marathon in January.