NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s former world half marathon champion
Gladys Cherono will not defend her Berlin marathon crown on
Instead, Cherono is
polishing up her skills in training as she targets a new
challenge to compete at the Chicago marathon in October.
became the first woman to win both the 5,000 metres and 10,000
metres at the African Championships in 2012 and has been on a
steady rise in the road race ever since.
Having won the World
Half Marathon in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2013, she gave up the
chance to defend her crown in Cardiff, Wales in March to focus
on the London marathon.
Although she never
won in London and lost her quest to compete at the Olympics for
Kenya, she believes she still has what it takes to win big city
“It is always
important to plan for your races and I believe my management
have secured me another race and it will not be in Berlin. But I
always train hard and hopefully, when I step on the race track,
I will be able to weather the storm and have a good
performance,” she said.
Last year, Cherono
won the Berlin marathon in a record time of 2:19:25, a time that
placed her seventh on the women’s all-time list.
But while she will
be away, organizers of the Berlin marathon have signed up
Ethiopians to take up the challenge of setting another fast
The Ethiopians are
the favorites led by last year’s runner-up Aberu Kebede, who is
not only the fastest but has a great deal of experience in
running in the German capital.
Her tally from three
appearances comprises two wins and one second place, an
impressive record. Kebede won in 2010 in 2:23:58 and set her
current personal best of 2:20:30 two years later when she took
that race again.
Last year she was
beaten only by Cherono, who ran the fastest time in the world
with 2:19:25 with Kebede runner-up in 2:20:48. Now Kebede’s main
target is to break the 2:20 barrier.
Two more Ethiopian
women will be among Kebede’s strongest opponents: Amane Beriso
took a big step forward with second place in 2:20:48 in Dubai in
January. Birhane Dibaba ran her best of 2:22:30 two years ago as
runner-up in Tokyo. Their compatriot Ruti Aga (2:25:27) could
also have a say in the outcome.
with the women’s race that, since we have just had the Olympics,
many of the top runners ran in Rio. Compared to the men, the
women’s top marathon runners worldwide have not quite the
strength in depth. But the situation also offers the chance for
another runner to make a name for herself,” said race director
Mark Milde in an email.
“We hope to have
world class performances and a fast race.”