NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Paris Marathon champion Purity Rionoripo of Kenya
has said the withdrawal of injured Ethiopian Meseret Defar from
the starting line-up will increase their prospects of winning
the Tokyo marathon on Sunday.
Rionoripo, who is
making her debut marathon on Japanese soil, is hopeful she will
run faster time, though she ruled out going for the world
“I want to run fast
time because I was told the course is good and designed to
produce quick times. But it is about winning the race and not
setting world records.
“To set a world
record requires special training and strategy. This time round
it is about running the beating your opponents then seek fast
time,” Rionoripo said on Friday in an interview.
Olympic 5000m champion Defar pulled out of the Tokyo Marathon
due to a calf injury. Defar, who was plotting to launch her
marathon career, will have to sit out and buy her time to debut
in a different city.
Another runner who
has also been announced to have pulled out of the starting
line-up is German Anna Hahner, who has been struggling with a
right thigh injury sustained during her last key session.
medallist Helah Kiprop of Kenya has warned her rivals to expect
a bruising battle in her defence of the Tokyo marathon on
“I have cleared my
training without any problems. I have pushed my body to the
limit and hopefully, it will repay me with victory in Tokyo.
That is why I’ m heading to Tokyo with my husband. Please
support me,” she said.
There will also be
Ruti Aga of Ethiopia, who finished second at the 2017 Berlin
Marathon in a personal best time of 2:20:41 and won the recent
Houston Half Marathon in 1:06:39.
There is also fellow
Ethiopian Shure Demise, whose 2:20:59 performance at the 2015
Dubai Marathon is the fastest performance ever by an Under-20
In the men’s race,
Kenya’s Wilson Kipsang hasn’t ruled out an attempt on Dennis
Kimetto’s world record of 2:02:57.
“I missed out on the
world record narrowly last year and I want to see if I can be
able to achieve that time on Sunday with my pacemakers,” he
Among the pacemakers
assigned for the Tokyo Marathon is Kipsang’s brother Noah
Kiprotich who has a 60:25 best time for the half marathon.
Kipsang ran the
fifth fastest time in history in 2016 when he clocked 2:03:13 in
Berlin and has vowed to target Kimetto’s world record of 2:02:57
on the new Tokyo route, which has been made flatter and faster
by the elimination of a number of bridges.
Kipsang is one of
five runners in the elite men’s field with a sub-2:05 bets time.
Others are Ethiopians Tesfaye Abera (2:04:24), Tsegaye Mekonnen
(2:04:32) and 2016 winner Feyisa Lilesa (2:04:52) as well as
Kenya’s Dickson Chumba (2:04:32).
Other standout names
in the field include last year’ s Amsterdam Marathon winner Amos
Kipruto (2:05:43), last year’s runner-up Gideon Kipketer
(2:05:51) and Japanese half marathon record-holder Yuta Shitara
Stomach problems force Kipsang
to drop out of Tokyo marathon
NAIROB (Xinhua) --
Former Olympic bronze medalist Wilson Kipsang of
Kenya said Sunday stomach problems forced him to stop midway
through the Tokyo marathon course on Sunday.
after he dropped out of the race with only 15km done, the former
world record holder said, “I really wanted to go fast, but after
suffering from stomach problems the last two days before the
race, I didn’t have the power to run a decent race today.”
In the absence of
Kipsang, Kenyan Dickson Chumba was the strongest as he
recaptured the title he last won in 2014, timing 2:05:30.
However, the hero of
the day was Yuta Shitara of Japan, who was second clocking a
national record time of 2:06:11. He improved the mark after 16
years and got 1 million U.S. dollar bonus for it.
In the women’s race,
Birhane Dibaba of Ethiopia running a smart race, working hard
after 30 km also achieved a second Tokyo title in 2:19:51, just
four seconds off the course record.
Second Ruti Aga
2:21:19 and London World Championships bronze medalist Amy Cragg
living up to her pre-race vow to make the top three in 2:21:42.