By John Kwoba NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
New York Marathon champion Geoffrey
Kamworor of Kenya has sounded out his rivals saying he is on
course to successfully defend his World Half Marathon crown in
Valencia in a month’s time.
Kamworor, who won
the Kenya national cross country championships in Nairobi on
Saturday, says he is happy with his preparations.
“My preparation is
good and after winning national cross country, there is nothing
stopping me now. No Injury, or any other concern, my fitness is
great. I’m expecting a great result at the World Half marathon,”
he said on Monday.
Kamworor also lauded
the great preparations his compatriot and World Half silver
medalist Bedan Karoki has shown.
Karoki worked hard
to successfully retain his RAK Half marathon title in the United
Arab Emirates and will be joining Kamworor in Valencia to try
and improve on his second place finish.
“Congrats are in
order for my friend and compatriot Bedan Karoki. Let us make it
happen in Valencia,” he added.
however stayed clear of committing themselves to attack the
world record set by Eritrean Zersanay Tadese in 2010 of 58:23.
Tadese, the winner
of four world half marathon titles, eclipsed the mark of 58:33
set by Kenyan Samuel Wanjiru in 2007.
However, Kamworor is
keen to clinch his third world half marathon title in Valencia
and hopefully see the world record fall in place.
“I do not target to
go for the world record, but I intend to run fast time. Should
it fall within the world record, then so be it. But my focus is
to win in fast time,” added Kamworor.
Only Karoki has come
close to the world record in recent times having run 58:42 at
the RAK half marathon race last week. But that is still 19
seconds off the mark. Kamworor’s best time is back from 2013
also in UAE of 58:54.
Kamworor won the
World Half Marathon on his first attempt in 2014 in Copenhagen,
Denmark in a championship record time of 59:08 before retaining
the crown at 2016 Cardiff in 59:10, the second fastest time in
Karoki settled for
silver in 59:36 in Cardiff to relegate Briton Mo Farah to third
Others in Kenya team
are Jorum Okombo, Leonard Barsaton and Barselius Kipyego. In the
same event, Kenyan women made history sweeping the podium
The winner Peres
Jepchirchir and silver medallist Cynthia Jerotich didn’t make
the team. However, Kenya will have world half marathon record
holder Joyciline Jepkosgei as the team anchor.
Jepkosgei, who broke
the world half marathon record twice last year, will be
returning to Valencia, the course where she broke the world half
marathon record last on October 22 in a new time of 1 hour, 04
minutes and 51 seconds.
Jepkosgei was a
distant sixth in last week’s RAK Half marathon in UAE, but still
hopes to win in Valencia. She will be accompanied by Fancy
Chemutai, who won in UAE, Ruth Chepng’etich, Pauline Kaveke and