NAIROBI, June 27 (Xinhua) -- Stephen Kiprotich, the 2012 Olympic and 2013 world marathon champion, will headline the Hamburg Half-marathon on Sunday.
The women's field will be led by Kenya's Gladys Jeptepkeny, who won in a course record time last year.
Kiprotich, who trains in Eldoret together with Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge, says he is keen to push his body for fast time.
"It will be a good challenge for me to return to Hamburg and try to win the half marathon race on Sunday. There will be strong challenge, which is good to help for me to attain fast time," Kiprotich said on Thursday.
The Ugandan Olympic and world champion made history again by securing a podium finish at the 2019 Hamburg Marathon sealing the bronze medal in April.
"It is now history and I focus on the new challenge ahead. I want to be in right mind as there are other competitions lineup. I have no idea if I will be running at the World Championships because Uganda now has many athletes seeking to showcase their talent," he added.
In the women's race, Jeptepkeny will be eyeing to hit two birds with one stone in Hamburg. As the defending champion, she puts her title on the line and hopes to retain it and she will also be seeking a faster time to the course record she posted in 2018.
Jeptepkeny, who finished seventh as a junior athlete at the World Cross Country race in Guiyang, China back in 2015, has opted to venture into marathon and road racing and will take up the challenge in Hamburg in her strides.
"It will be good to retain the title," she said on Thursday. "But it will be harder because everyone will be out to beat me and I have to be on my best form to thwart their attempts."
This year, Jeptepkeny won the Warsaw Half Marathon in March clocking one hour 10 minutes and 19 seconds, her only race so far. Last year she won in Hamburg in a course record of 70:13 alongside running in France and the Netherlands.
The 23-year-old is keen to transition to full marathon later this year.