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Bahraini and Kenyan athletes face on
in Cardiff Half marathon challenge

By John Kwoba MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- Four Kenyans will line up in a bid to stop their former compatriot now running for Bahrain, Violah Jepchumba, as she seeks to defend her title at the Cardiff Half marathon on Oct. 1.

In the men’s race, the onus will fall on defending champion Kenya’s Shadrack Kimining to prove his critics wrong as he comes up against a strong challenge for the crown.  

Jepchumba and Kimining sent race records tumbling 12 months ago in their victory. But both face serious competition if they want to defend their titles.

Kimining’s biggest threat comes from compatriot Wilfred Murgor, the only athlete in the race who has clocked under the hour mark (59:57).

“It always get tough and each year there is new challenge, which I take in my strides,” said Kimining. “I always treat my rivals with caution, anything is possible.”

Kimining has slashed 42 seconds off his record breaking time of 1:00:53 since last year’s race and will be aiming to go under an hour for the first time on the flat, fast course.

Murgor has previously achieved that accolade, boasting a 59:57 time at the 2015 Prague Half Marathon.

John Lotiang (1:00:17) is the third fastest on paper while Josphat Bett (1:01:01) and Eliud Kiptanui (1:01:24) both have serious pedigree. Bett is the 2014 Commonwealth Games Silver Medalist at 10,000m and has run 26:48 over that distance.

Kiptanui has a Marathon best of 2:05:21 and was a winner at the 2017 Ottawa Marathon in May.

Violah Jepchumba (1:05:22) will compete in Cardiff two weeks after lowering the Bahraini Half Marathon Record to 1:06:06 whilst winning the Usti Nad Labem Half Marathon. She remains the fifth fastest athlete of all time over the Half Marathon distance.

Edith Chelimo (1:08:12) will lead the Kenyan interest. Chelimo last competed in Cardiff back in 2011 when she was third.

Beatrice Mutai (1:09:30) was fourth at the 2017 Kenyan Championships and was the 2015 Lisbon Rock N Roll Half Marathon Champion.

Kenyan duo Dorcas Kimeli and Caroline Nyaga will both debut over the distance in Cardiff.      Ethiopia’ s Zeineba Yimer (1:13:17) was 10th at the IAAF World Junior Cross Country Championships in March and is hoping to run faster than her previous best on Oct. 1.



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