NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Defending champion Gladys Cherono will be hopeful
that good things come in threes when she lines up for the Berlin
Marathon on September 16.
The 35-year-old is
bidding to become a three-time winner of the Berlin Marathon,
with her main focus on Ethiopia’s Tirunesh Dibaba, winner of the
assembled a fast elite team, featuring three other women to have
run under two hours and 20 minutes.
Kenya’s Cherono won
Berlin in 2015 and 2017, and her best time of 2:19:25 was
achieved in the first of those victories.
“There is no
shortcut at this level of competition. You don’t expect an easy
challenge because everyone coming in is a star and has a big
record behind them. I have to focus on my own strength and train
harder to attain my goal and win the race,” she said on Monday
The elite women’s
field in Berlin is the strongest for many years. At the top of
the pile is Ethiopia’s Dibaba.
The 32-year-old has
won three Olympic gold medals and five World Championship golds
between 2003 and 2013.
Her personal best
time is 2:17:56, set when she finished second in the 2017 London
Marathon, making her the third fastest woman in the history of
Dibaba is keen to
lower this record in Berlin, and given ideal weather conditions,
might even have a chance of attacking Paula Radcliffe’s world
record of 2:15:25, set by the Briton in 2003.
with her best time of 2:19:25, will want to claim her own third
title in the German capital.
The Kenyan will
first tackle the human challenge and make sure she has the title
secured before channeling her energies into running a fast time.
“The important thing
is to win the race,” she said.
Another Kenyan in
the race is 2017 Boston Marathon winner Edna Kiplagat. The
38-year-old shows no signs of retiring, and with two world
marathon titles to her credit and a silver at the London 2017
World Championships, Kiplagat will be hard to beat.
In addition to her
Boston triumph, she has also won the New York and London
Marathons in 2010 and 2014 respectively.
entrants include Yebrugal Melese, who has run 14 marathons, Ruti
Aga and Aselefech Mergia, all of whom hail from Ethiopia.