By John Kwoba NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s Dickson Chumba will be the athlete to
beat at the Toronto marathon on Sunday despite having been
overlooked by organizers of Chicago marathon earlier this month.
It is a bonus for
the organizers of Toronto marathon to secure the signature of
Chumba who has also won Tokyo marathon in 2014.
The 30-year-old has
been on the podium of these two World Marathon Majors a
remarkable seven times.
In addition, his
personal best of 2:04:32 came in the ‘Windy City’ three years
ago when he finished third. His addition has sparked a great
deal of interest in this rapidly growing event.
Just this past
February he was third in Tokyo with 2:06:25. Clearly the Toronto
course record of 2:07:05 held by Ethiopia’s Derissa Chimsa in
2013 could fall.
That would earn the
victor 40,000 Canadian dollars bonus on top of the 25,000
dollars for finishing first.
“So far my training
has gone well,” said Chumba. “If the weather will be okay on
that particular day, I think I can try to attack the 2:07:05. In
Tokyo I ran 2:06:25 but it was a very fast pace for the first
30km, which I paid for a bit towards the end of the race.”
Chumba’s participation has somewhat overshadowed the return of
his compatriot and defending champion, Philemon Rono.
Chumba will also be
on the lookout to avoid an ambush from compatriots Anthony
Maritim who has a season best of 2:09:11 and Eric Ndiema who has
a personal best of 2: 06.07.
In the women’s race,
Angela Tanui and former Scotiabank Blue Nose Marathon champion
Sarah Jebet will hit Toronto streets eyeing a win.
Their main mission
will be claiming the women’s race honours that were last won by
compatriot Flomena Cheyech in 2013, though their biggest
competitors will be from Ethiopia who have won seven out ten
races in a span of 10 years.