Nairobi, April 25 (IANS) With the London World Championships not in their plans, Kenyans Lani Rutto, Frankline Chepkwony and Stephen Chemlany will be under little pressure to impress and dominate at the Prague Marathon on May 7.
The trio will be among a horde of elite runners who will parade in the Czech Republic capital, eyeing to set a new mark and course record, reports Xinhua news agency.
There are five men competing in the 13th annual running of the event, who have each completed marathons with times under the Prague course record.
“It is good to set targets and one is to see if I can improve on my personal best time. Then it will be the course record to go for because I believe I have what it takes to run faster if the conditions are in perfect state,” Rutto said on Tuesday from Eldoret.
Prague International Marathon organisers introduced several of the contenders likely to challenge the record of 2:08:52 set in 1998 by Kenya Elijah Lagat.
The Kenyan is among the few runners who have set a record under two hours and seven minutes. However, that will count for nothing as he comes up against four other runners with faster times.
Rutto’s personal best time is 2:06:34, which makes him the slowest among the top five in the field in Prague.
Ethiopia’s Bazu Worku is the fastest with a time of 2:05:25, ahead of Frankline Chepkwony (2:06:11), Stephen Chemlany (2:06:24) and Feyisa Bekele (2:06:26) of Ethiopia.
Another leading entrant is Japan’s Yuki Kawauchi, who will be competing at the World Championships in London later this summer.
“With plans to launch an assault on his personal best in Prague and run in under 2:08, the renowned Japanese marathon runner, Yuki Kawauchi also promises to add something to the mix,” said elite athlete coordinator Jana Moberly.
The women’s course record of 2:22:34 could also come under threat in the Prague Marathon. The elite field is headed by a quartet of Ethiopians with sub-2:23 personal best time like Feyse Tadese (2:20:27), Amane Beriso (2:20:48), Mulu Seboka (2:21:56) and Tadelech Bekele (2:22:51).