NAIROBI, Nov. 17 (Xinhua) -- Beijing 2008 Olympic steeplechase champion Brimin Kipruto of Kenya will launch his career in the road race in France at Sunday's Boulogne-Billancourt Half-Marathon.
The 33-year-old, who also won the 2007 world steeplechase title, was eliminated from his heat at the IAAF World Championships London 2017, which was his last competition to date.
"I have been looking for the opportune time to venture into road race and France will be my first stop in this journey. I have not set high expectation because I don't know how my body will react. But A win will be welcoming," said Kipruto on Saturday.
Having now shifted his focus to the roads, he will have much to do in Boulogne-Billancourt with the likes of Josphat Tanui and Olika Adugna also in the race.
Tanui has a personal best of 59:22 set last year in Usti, suggesting that Franklin Chepkwony's course record of 1:00:11 from 2013 could be in jeopardy.
His season's best, however, is 1:01:14 from the Prague Half Marathon in April, while his most recent performance at the distance was a 1:02:42 clocking in the Netherlands in September.
Ethiopia's Adugna illustrated his current form by winning the challenging Marseille-Cassis 20km race three weeks ago.
The 19-year-old finished fifth in the 10,000m at the IAAF World Under-20 Championships Tampere, Finland in July.
Ishmael Kalale has set two half marathon personal best (PBs) this year. The 23-year-old was runner-up in Verona in February in 1:01:03 before lowering his best to 1:00:47 in Lisbon one month ago.
The field also includes Precious Mashele of South Africa (1:01:48) for last year in Boulogne-Billancourt, Yismaw Ayeno of Ethiopia, who was fifth in Marseille-Cassis, and Taye Girma, whose 10km best time of 28:06 indicates he could play a leading role in what will be his half marathon debut.
In the women's race, Kenya's Parendis Lakapana will attempt to move up from her second-place showing last year.
She set a personal best time of 1:09:13 on that occasion to finish 44 seconds adrift of Rahma Tusa, who broke the course record with 1:08:29.
Two months ago Lakapana won in Krems, Austria in a time of 1:09:23, only 10 seconds outside her best time.
"I want to retain my title. But it will not be easy and that is what will make the win enjoyable," she said.
Her main opponent should be compatriot Susan Jeptoo, who clocked a best of 1:09:02 in Lille last year. This year she has set best time of 31:59 for 10km and 2:30:50 for the marathon.