NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
London marathon bronze medalist Bedan Karoki of
Kenya remained confident, he will improve on his silver medal
when he competes at the World Half marathon in Valencia, Spain
on March 24.
Karoki, who is fresh
from winning the Ras al-Khaimah (RAK) Half Marathon in the
United Arab Emirates, will face one of the athletes he beat
Jemal Yimer from Ethiopia.
But even with the
inclusion of the young Ethiopian, the Kenyan is buoyant, he will
be ready for the challenge.
“I was in top form
in winning in RAK Half marathon and I believe, I will improve
and be better place as we head to Valencia. Ethiopia always has
a strong team and this time round they will be out to destroy
Kenya’s dominance,” he said on Saturday.
Indeed Kenya reigned
supreme in the last championships in Cardiff, Wales when
Geoffrey Kamworor won gold followed by Karoki while Britain’s Mo
Farah was third.
Of the three podium
candidates, only Farah will be missing in action in Valencia.
Already Kamworor has
ruled out going for the world record in Valencia and said he is
only keen to win in fast time and Karoki echoed his compatriots
sentiments saying, despite a 100,000 U.S. dollar bonus for
shattering the course and world record in Valencia, his priority
will be to improve his silver medal to gold.
“But we must be wary
of the Ethiopians. They always come up with new athletes and
they keep the tempo of the race high. We must be in top form to
challenge them,” he added.
Ethiopia, has named
its fastest man and woman for the 21km distance for this year’s
race led by Yimer.
finished fifth over 10,000m at the World Championships London
six months ago and he made an impressive half marathon debut in
Ras al-Khaimah earlier this month.
He finished second
in 59:00, the fastest time by an Ethiopian runner since 2012 and
putting him third on the Ethiopian all-time list.
He will be joined by
the top four finishers from the recent Ethiopian Half Marathon
Championships: Getaneh Molla, Betesfa Getahun, Dawit Fikadu and
Ruti Aga, winner of
the Houston Half Marathon earlier this year, leads the women’s
The 24-year-old, who
finished second at last year’s Berlin Marathon in 2:20:41, won
in Houston with a big PB of 1:06:39 to move to fourth on the
Ethiopian all-time list.
The top four
finishers from the Ethiopian Half Marathon Championships joining
Aga on the team are Zeineba Yimer, Meseret Belete, Bekelech
Gudeta and Zinash Mekonnen.
Following is the
Men - Dawit Fikadu,
Betesfa Getahun, Getaneh Molla, Jiksa Tadesse, Jemal Yimer.
Women - Ruti Aga,
Meseret Belete, Bekelech Gudeta, Zinash Mekonnen, Zeineba Yimer.