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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
Kenya’s Mutai to challenge ex-Olympic
champ Kiprotich in Hamburg Marathon

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Veteran marathon runner Emmanuel Mutai of Kenya believes he is ready to run at the top level as he heads to Hamburg, Germany for the marathon there on April 29.

The organizers have confirmed that a strong elite field is prepared for the Hamburg Marathon and believes the course record will be up for grabs.

Olympic Champion Eliud Kipchoge holds the Hamburg Marathon course record at 2:05:30, set in 2013.

“I have run a faster time before in marathon and I will be hoping to gain similar success in Hamburg.

"I know there will be a lot of athletes eyeing the title, but I have the ability to challenge anyone for the gold,” Mutai said on Monday in Eldoret.

Mutai will be the fastest runner in the field having clocked in at 2:03:13.

However, he faces a spirited challenge from former Olympic winner Stephen Kiprotich from Uganda.

There will also be Sammy Kitwara with more Kenyans, (Vincent Kipruto and Stephen Chebogut) lined up eyeing a share of the pie.

The Ethiopian group leader is Ayele Abshero with 2:04:23 best, Solomon Deksisa and 2014 winner Shumi Dechasa with 2:06:43.

In the women’s field, there are six runners with sub 2:30 bests. On top of the list is Sweden’s Isabellah Andersson with 2:23:41, a national record, and she plans to qualify for Berlin Marathon with posting fast time in Hamburg.

But she will be up for a strong contest from Kenya’s track star Sylvia Kibet, who has a strong and fast time in marathon of 2:26:16. Shitaye Eshete from Bahrain has 2:25:36, and Namibia’s Beata Naigambo boasts 2:26:57. Rounding out the field, from Portugal, Filomena Costa comes in at 2:28:00.

           

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