NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
World half marathon record holder Peres Jepchirchir and Leonard
Patrick Komon of Kenya will lead a world-class field at the Prague Half Marathon
on April 1.
Komon, who is currently eyeing a medal at the World Cross
Country Championships in Kampala, Uganda on March 26, wants to turn to full
marathon and will be in the Czech Republic capital to test his fitness after a
series of injuries. The Prague half marathon is an IAAF Gold Label Road Race.
"I have to focus first on cross country and then the road race. World cross
country is good for endurance and then that is what I will be seeking in Prague,
to push my body to the limit. Thereafter, the full marathon will be the next
"I have been facing setbacks with injuries tormenting me. But I have been
able to train for three months without any problem now and I hope to do well in
Prague," said Komon, Friday in Embu, where he is in training camp with the Kenya
cross country team.
Alongside the two, the organisers have also called in two Rio Olympic
medalists in Galen Rupp (USA) and Tamirat Tola (Ethiopia) to spice up the race.
The women’s race features world half marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir,
fresh from her 1:05:06 half marathon world record performance last month in
She will be challenged by the Prague event record-holder Violah Jepchumba,
whose 1:05:51 clocking in the Czech capital last year was the fastest half
marathon performance of 2016.
The race will include three other women who have run faster than 1:07:00.
They are Joyciline Jepkosgei, who ran 1:06:08 in Ras al-Khaimah last month,
former race record-holder Worknesh Degefa of Ethiopia, and Kenya’s African Games
10,000m silver medallist Gladys Chesir.
U.S. duo Jordan Hasay and Maegan Krifchin are also in the field, along with
Eva Vrabcova of the Czech Republic.
The men’s field is also graced with a world record-holder. Komon, who holds
world records at 10km and 15km, will be trying to improve on his third-place
finish in Prague from 2015.
The biggest threat may come from another Kenyan, Barselius Kipyego who set a
course record of 59:15 in Czech Republic’s town of Usti nad Labem last September
on what had not previously been considered a fast course.
Olympic bronze medallist Galen Rupp and Tamirat Tola are also in the field.
Tola finished third in the 10,000m at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and looks to be
in top condition this year after running 2:04:11 to win in the Dubai Marathon in
Rupp, who finished third in the marathon in Rio, is aiming for a fast
performance at the Boston Marathon this year and could challenge the North
American record in Prague.
Czech Republic’s Jiri Homolac, who is currently training in Iten, Kenya, is
hoping to run faster than 1:03:00.