Ex-New York Marathon champion returns for Great North Run in Newcastle

Source: Xinhua| 2018-09-04 20:58:22|Editor: zh
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NAIROBI, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- Former New York Marathon champion Stanley Biwott has recovered from a leg injury and will be on the front line at the this weekend's Great North Run, a 21km road race, in Newcastle, England.

The 32-year-old Kenyan distance runner was forced to pull out with a leg injury at the London marathon in April. The injury to his left leg forced him to stop training for three weeks.

The Great North Run will be held on Sunday. "I have since recovered and I am focused on testing how fast my knees can hold up against a strong challenge from Mo Farah and others," he said on Tuesday in Nairobi.

The 32-year-old has been struggling with injuries for the past two years, missing last year's London Marathon with hamstring problems and the Rio Olympic marathon race. He was also unable to defend his title at the 2016 New York Marathon, stepping off the course during race with a calf injury.

Newcastle will be his first major race this season as he plans to return to full marathon action in Chicago in October. There he will be up against compatriot Abel Kirui, who was second last year, as well as Geoffrey Kirui, the world marathon champion.

At the same time, organizers of the Great North Run have also announced the inclusion of former London marathon champion Daniel Wanjiru to the elite list heading to Newcastle on Sunday. Wanjiru is due to compete at the New York marathon on November 4.

He failed to defend his title in London in April losing to compatriot and Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge. Wanjiru settled for seventh place. He hopes to recover lost ground in New York where he will be up against compatriot and defending champion Geoffrey Kamwaror.

"My training is going on well and am getting ready to make my New York marathon debut," he said. "But the first task is to see how I rank in a shorter race and the Great North Run is an ideal event for me. It has top names and they always help push you through, " Wanjiru said.

Alongside the Kenyans and Farah, there will also be the in-form Jake Robertson from New Zealand and Commonwealth marathon champion Michael Shelley from Australia. Farah will be looking for his fifth straight win. In the women's field, London Marathon winner Vivian Cheruiyot will be the athlete to beat as she returns to Newcastle having won the race in 2016.

"I am looking forward to returning to England for the Great North Run. It was a magnificent race when I won there for the first time in 2016 and I want to be on top of that podium again," said Cheruiyot.