Nairobi, Oct 5 (IANS) Abel Kirui and world marathon record holder Dennis Kimetto ruled out a possible attempt on the world record when they compete at the Chicago Marathon on Sunday.
The two are part of the Kenyan contingent that left for the United States on Thursday hoping the weather will be conducive for them to run a faster time, though the record, which stands at 2:02.57 hours, may be out of reach now, reports Xinhua news agency.
“It is about running fast time and improvement. But the world record is pushing too far and I believe all that is important is to win the race and let the time aspect fall into perspective,” Kirui said on Thursday in Nairobi.
The Chicago Marathon men’s line-up has five athletes who have run under two hours and six minutes.
The line-up is headed by Kimetto (2:02:57) and champ Kirui (2:05:04) along with Ethiopians Feyisa Lilesa (2:04:52) and Sisay Lemma (2:05:16) and former New York Marathon winner Stanley Biwott from Kenya (2:03:51).
Other top names include Olympic bronze medallist Galen Rupp (2:09:58), Kenyans Ezekiel Chebii (2:06:07) and Bernard Kipyego (2:06:19) and world half marathon record holder Zersenay Tadese from Eritrea (2:10:41).
Kirui, who won the title last year in two hours, 11 minutes and 23 seconds, is certain he can lower his time.
“I have finished my training and I will be looking forward to doing well in the race where I want to lower my time and also retain my title,” said Kirui.
However, seeing his training partner and Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge win the Berlin Marathon last month has put pressure on Kirui to deliver a similar performance.
“We all train together and we know how strong one is even before a race. Kipchoge did his part in Berlin and there was no question about his strength. Now it is about me in Chicago,” he said. “It will not be easy but I hope the tactics will come in to play when needed most.”