By John Kwoba
NAIROBI, Oct. 6 (Xinhua) -- There will be love lost when training partners Marius Kipserem faces off with Festus Talam in Sunday's Eindhoven Marathon in the Netherlands.
Talam is the defending champion and will be putting his title on the line as compatriot Kipserem seeks to improve on his silver medal back in 2015 to gold.
"It will be a tough race," said Talam on Friday. "Kipserem is strong and I have to be careful and hope my strength in training will pay off. Top races have big names and it's down to how your training went that determines your performance."
The Sunday's marathon has seven runners who have clocked under 2:10.00 hours. But that time will mean nothing when the elite line up for the honors in the Dutch city.
The elite team is headed by two Kenyans Kipserem (2:06:11) and champion Talam (2:06:26). Japanese Masato Imai has 2:07:39 and best from Ethiopians is Samuel Getache with 2:09:44.
In the women's category, Kenya's hopes will be tied around Eunice Jeptoo as top name with 2:32:36 best while Lucy Wanjiku will debut at the marathon distance.
The Best home Europeans in the field are Belgians Hanna Vandenbussche (2:37:28) and Dennis Laerte (2:18:04).
Course records are Dickson Chumba 2:05:46 from 2012 and Georgina Rono 2:24:33 from 2011.