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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenyan organizers announces big entry
for Nairobi International marathon

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- This year’s Nairobi Standard Chartered International marathon scheduled for Oct. 28 expects to have over 25,000 participants, organizers said Tuesday.

Dubbed as one of the toughest marathons in the world, The Standard Chartered Bank which organizes the event, are hopeful the race will continue unearthing new talents to go on and conquer the world.

Among the top names that have emerged from Nairobi to conquer big city marathon is world marathon record holder Dennis Kimetto.

Last year, over 20,000 people took part in the marathon which witnessed former champion Joshua Kipkorir, Ronny Kipkoech, who finished second at Lagos City Marathon and the 2016 Los Angeles Marathon champion Weldon Kirui.

“This year we are targeting to raise 600,000 U.S. dollars for charity work. All the proceeds from registration will be channeled to the ‘Seeing is Believing’ initiative, which focuses on addressing avoidable blindness among children below 15 years,” said Standard Chartered Bank Kenya CEO, Lamin Manjang, on Tuesday.

Kenya has a rich reservoir of marathon runners and it will take something special from foreign legion to raffle the status quo.

The marathon has helped the bank raise over 2.5 million dollars since its inception in 2003. Among the programs funded so far include screening of 6.2 million people, 170,000 surgical interventions, training of over 2,000 health workers and upgrading of more than 10 health facilities around the country.

The organizers have maintained last year’s route for the 2018 race which starts within the Central Business District and snakes through the city to enable participants, especially foreigners appreciate the historic sites in the Kenyan capital.

However, some minor changes will be made on the location of the race starting points. 

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EARLIER REPORT:

Kenya’s 800m star Korir focuses on Africa Championships

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s Emmanuel Korir performance in London has left many fans dreaming of how fast he can run, but the 23-year-old says this week’s African Championships in Asaba, Nigeria, will be a major test.

The Kenyan excelled at the London Diamond League a week ago clocking a time of 1:42:05 in the men’s 800m, which stands out as the fastest in the world since 2012 and puts him sixth on the world all-time list, a front-running exhibition reminiscent of David Rudisha’s world record, Olympic gold medal-winning run on the same track five years earlier.

“I accosted Nijel Amos to see if he could run at the front to maybe like 600 meters, but he was telling me that he wasn’t feeling good,” explains Korir.

Amos had run 1:42:14 in Monaco in early July. “So I had to take a risk. I was feeling like maybe I could lose the race, but I thought, ‘no, let’s try it: I’m going to hold it’. And that is how it happened.”

Now his focus is on the Africa championships, which starts on Wednesday in Asaba, Nigeria. “Heats, semis and finals, it will not be easy,” says Korir, pondering a rematch with Botswana’s Nijel Amos. “1:42 is not satisfying. If I get some guys who are strong and can push me all the way to the finish line, it will be crazy.” Korir won the Kenyan title at the 400m distance.

Korir built a reputation on the U.S. collegiate circuit, where he went on an unbeaten run that lasted a year and included a world indoor best of 1:14:47 over 600m, and indoor and outdoor NCAA titles. That streak didn’t stop away from U.S. shores.

First he won the Kenyan trials, beating the likes of 2016 IAAF Diamond League champion Ferguson Rotich, to confirm his spot at the World Championships. Then, on his IAAF Diamond League debut, he destroyed a world-class field by more than a second in Monaco sizzling to a 1:43.10, the fastest time of 2017.

But the rounds in London proved to be too difficult. Although he won his heat, in the next day’s semis he came in fourth.

His undefeated season and World Championships campaign were wrecked. Talking from massage table 11 months on from that ignominy, his feelings couldn’t be more different. “Last year, when I was in London, I was so disappointed. But right now? I think I like it,” Korir recalls.

             

 

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