NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Former champion Gladys Cherono of
Kenya said Friday her worst nightmare fighting with injury is
behind her and is now focused on breaking the two hours and 20
minutes barrier when she runs on Sunday at the Berlin Marathon.
The women’s elite field for Berlin marathon is ripe with talent,
featuring five runners whose personal best is under 2:25. A
record number of 43,852 runners from 137 countries and regions
have entered the race.
"I have to go to Berlin to attack my personal best.
"I couldn’t run a marathon in 2016 because I had a stress
fracture and feared I might never regain top form.
"But now everything is ok," said Cherono, who won in Berlin
two years ago clocking 2:19:25.
The Kenyan stands out as the favorite among this quintet with
her fast time of 2:19:25, which is 13 seconds behind the course
record, set in 2005 by the Japanese Mizuki Noguchi (2:19:12).
Although Cherono is the only runner to have broken 2:20 hours
mark, four of her rivals have gone under 2:25.
They are Amane Beriso (2:20:48), Gulume Tollesa (2:23:12) and
Ruti Aga (2:24:41) all Ethiopians as well as the Kenyan Valary
"It’s the norm that leading women runners come to Berlin in
order to run fast and have the best chance of setting personal
"So we can reckon with a pace on schedule for breaking 2:20
"It could even be the kind of pace to threaten the course
record," said race director Mark Milde.