Kenya's Kitur to skip C'wealth Games, eyes title defence at Mumbai Marathon

Source: Xinhua| 2018-01-10 23:00:06|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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NAIROBI, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- Kenya's Bornes Kitur has ruled out competing at the Commonwealth Games and instead is focusing her efforts in defending her title at this year's Mumbai Marathon on Jan 21.

Kenya is expected to name its final team to the Commonwealth Games on Tuesday with the country's athletics president Jack Tuwei warning that anybody planning to compete in international marathon in January and February will have no chance.

"It is not easy to make Kenya team. I looked at the chances and decided to focus on what I have control over, defending my title in Mumbai. I need to make my own fort and name and in doing so, I may be considered for national assignment later," Kitur said on Wednesday from Eldoret.

Athletics Kenya was due to name the marathon teams to the Commonwealth Games slated for 4-15 April in Gold Coast, Australia and IAAF World Half Marathon Championships to be held in Valencia, Spain on March 24.

However, Vice President in charge of competitions Paul Mutwii said they are yet to finalize the list.

The trials for the other athletics disciplines are however scheduled to be conducted from March 8-10, with the track and field having been allocated 57 slots in Team Kenya for the Gold Coast competition.

"Athletes have no voice in the selection apart from their previous performance and availability. I had contractual obligations with the organizers of the Mumbai marathon and I must honour their call," said Kitur, who is eyeing to run fast time in the Indian city.

Kitur holds a personal best time of 2:29:01 heading to her title defence in Mumbai but she will face tough opposition from Ethiopians Amane Gobena (2:21:51) and Shuko Genemo (2:24:31).

The men's race includes four runners with sub-2:07 best times in Ethiopians Solomon Deksisa (2:06:22), Chele Dechasa (2:06:33), Abraham Girma (2:06:48) and Bahrain's Shumi Dechase (2:06:43).

"We have a stronger men's field this year and I think the men's course record of 2:08:35 (set in 2016 by Kenya' s Gideon Kipketer), will be under threat.

The women's course record of 2:24:33 (set in 2013 by Kenya's Valentine Kipketer) is probably a tougher proposition but far from unbeatable with the caliber of athletes coming here," race organizer Vivek Singh said.