Kimetto targets Daegu marathon after shaking off injuries

Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-14 04:17:28|Editor: yan
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NAIROBI, March 13 (Xinhua) -- Injuries might have taken the winds out of the sails for former world marathon record holder Dennis Kimetto, but the Kenyan is determined to make a comeback on April 7 in Daegu, Republic of Korea.

"I want to go back to my winning days. I know I still have the fire burning inside me and I know, I can return to the top and compete at the highest level. But I have to be patient and accept to take each step at a time," said Kimetto on Wednesday in Eldoret.

The 34-year-old has battled career threatening knee injury, calf muscle problems and a gash on his left leg that limited his performance since he set the world record in Berlin back in 2014 clocking two hours, two minutes and 57 seconds.

The former Chicago, Berlin and Tokyo marathon champion made three comebacks, which all ended up with failure to finish the race.

He finished his first race in four years in November clocking 2:14:54 at the Shanghai marathon, where he was 10th.

"Dennis wants to show something," said his manager Gerard van de Veen. "He is an athlete of extraordinary quality. After he ran his world record in Berlin, his physical problems started. I think the race in Berlin took a lot out of his body."

But despite being out of form and failing to win a race since 2014, Kimetto believes he will regain his fitness and challenge Eliud Kipchoge, the Olympic champion, for his world record.

Kipchoge, broke Kimetto's mark in Berlin last year with a time of 2:01:39.

"When all the preparations are complete, I will confirm which city and race I will use to break the world record," said Kimetto.

For over four years, Kimetto has been in and out of rehabilitation in hospitals in Kenya, Germany and the Netherlands. But he believes the storm has cleared and now he can focus on what he loves most, running.

"It has been a struggle mentally and physically. It was difficult for me because I have been managing the injury which has been persisting. I'm now in good shape and let nobody underrate me. I will be hard to beat," he said.