Kenyan's Korir, Cheruiyot face stiff challenge in quest for Frankfurt marathon title

Source: Xinhua| 2017-10-21 01:32:59|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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By John Kwoba

NAIROBI, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- Champion Mark Korir and women's favorite candidate Vivian Cheruiyot both of Kenya are all ready for the challenge at the Frankfurt marathon on Oct. 29.

Korir, who finished 24 in Beijing World Championships two years ago, has been on a rebound winning in Paris and Frankfurt and will want to retain his title in the German capital for the second year in a row.

"Next year we have the Commonwealth Games and I still feel I never showed my strength in Beijing. Winning in Frankfurt will have my resume spackle and the coaches may look my way again," he said on Friday.

Korir, however, will have an extra challenger in Ethiopia's Getu Feleke, who has been added to the elite men' s field. Feleke is the fastest entrant with a 2:04:50 set in the Rotterdam Marathon in 2012 and he will face a strong line-up including reigning champion Korir (2:05:49).

It will be a personal challenge for Feleke who is returning to action after a lengthy break due to injury. Another Kenyan, Martin Kosgey, will be gunning to improve on his runner-up finish from 12 months ago. He comes armed with a 2:07:22 lifetime best.

In the women' s race, Cheruiyot, who made her debut in the marathon in April in London and finished fourth, has a realistic chance to win her maiden title in Frankfurt.

"It is her best shot," said Florence Kiplagat, a former Chicago marathon Champion.

"The course is fast and the challenge not as big as in London. Plus Cheruiyot always likes challenges and this is an inspiration to her. She will win."

Ethiopia's Feyse Tadese (2:20:27) has been added to the elite women's field where she will face a line-up including Olympic 5000m champ Cheruiyot from Kenya (2:23:50).

There are five rivals who have run faster than Cheruiyot in the starting line-up.

Top Europeans to note include Henryk Szost from Poland (2:07:39) and German best Arne Gabius (2:08:33) along with 2014 European medalist Jared Shegumo from Poland (2:10:34) and Belgian Abdelhadi El Hakimi (2:10:35).