By John Kwoba NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Gilbert Kirwa of Kenya and Germany’s race
defending champion Fate Tola leads the field for the Hannover
Marathon on April 8.
Kirwa, whose best
time in marathon stands at 2:06:14, will be hoping for perfect
weather as he targets the course record of 2:08:32.
“I was told it is a
fast course, but when you look at the time set then you wonder
why nobody has run faster. I believe I can be that change and
run under two hours and six minutes. But that will depend on my
fitness and other racers,” Kirwa said on Thursday in Nairobi.
Former winner Jacob
Cheshari from Kenya and Henryk Szost of Poland will provide the
Cheshari is keen to
recapture the title but is aware of the sacrifice he has to make
to weather the challenge from his compatriot.
Home favorite Fate
Tola defends her women’s title against Yue Chao of China and
Recho Kosgei of Kenya. Hendrik Pfeiffer and Anja Scherl head the
entries for the German Half Marathon championships held
separately within the same event.
career marathon wins came from Vienna and Frankfurt in 2009.
First he took the Vienna City Marathon in May with 2:08:21 and
then he clocked a strong personal best of 2:06:14 when winning
On the very flat
course in Hannover, which was improved for this year’s race by
taking out several corners, Kirwa will hope to get back to his
The 32 year-old
Kenyan, who has run sub 2:08 times on five occasions, had two
difficult years because of injuries.
“I am now fit again
and focused on winning in Hannover. But everyone enters the race
with sole purpose to win. I will let my legs do the talking,
though it will be important to assess the level of competition
in the initial stages before going out at full throttle,” he
Cheshari, who won
the Hannover Marathon three years ago with 2:09:32, has a
personal best of 2:07:46 which he ran in Frankfurt in 2013 when
he finished fourth. There is also Poland’s Henryk Szost.
Former Ethiopian Fate Tola, who became a German citizen two
years ago, will be the favorite in the women’s race but must
watch out for China’s Yue Chao (2:29:26) and Kenya’s Recho