2008 Olympic steeplechase champion to switch to marathon in Linz, Austria

Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-06 21:14:15|Editor: xuxin
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NAIROBI, March 6 (Xinhua) -- 2008 Olympic steeplechase champion Brimin Kipruto of Kenya will finally take a leap of faith as he eyes his debut at the ultimate distance when he competes at the Linz Marathon on April 14.

The 33-year-old Kenyan will make his marathon debut in the Austrian city, having run 62:25 for the half marathon at the end of last year.

He will be keen to eclipse his steeplechase mentor and running partner Ezekiel Kemboi, who will also be changing gears to the marathon in Hamburg, also in April.

"It is time I transitioned to the marathon. I may not be fast enough to win or do well in the steeplechase and the marathon offers me a new life, new challenge and new tactics. I want to do my best, but I have to be patient and listen to my body, feel the pain of running a marathon and know how easy or hard it is on the other side," said Kipruto on Wednesday in Eldoret.

Kipruto's training partner, Kenyan Nicholas Rotich, who was fourth in the Vienna Marathon last year, and Patrick Kibet Cheruiyot will also compete in Linz.

Kenya's Samuel Theuri Mwaniki, who was fifth in 2013, and Uganda's Felix Chemonges further boost the field.

"Kipruto will make his marathon debut in Austria. As the organizers of the Linz Marathon can confirm, the winner of the 2008 Summer Olympics will be at the starting line on April 14," said organizers.

Kipruto is considered the top favorite in the eight-member elite field of men and though he has no previous experience in the marathon, hopes are high that he may seek to challenge the current course record of 2:07:33.

"I am looking forward to the challenge at the Linz Marathon. I have heard a lot of positive things about the event and the course," Kipruto said.

In the women's race, Nikolina Stepan from Croatia will seek to defend her title. Cornelia Moser, who ran 75:01 at the Barcelona Half last year, is among her main challengers.