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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenyan Vivian Cheruiyot targets Great
North title defense in Newcastle   

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- London Marathon champion Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya will use the Great North Run in Newcastle to gauge her preparation ahead of her participation in the New York Marathon in November.

Cheruiyot, who is the Olympic 5,000m champion, has raced sparingly this year with only one appearance in London in April, where she beat legend Mary Keitany and Ethiopia’s Tirunesh Dibaba, improving her personal best time to 2:18:31.

Now with focus on her New York debut, the 34-year-old will be hoping to make it two Great North Run victories in three years when she competes in Newcastle on Sept 9.

The four-time Olympic and five-time World Championship medalist won the world’s biggest half marathon on her debut over the distance in 2016, and finished second to winner Mary Keitany last year.

“I am looking forward to returning to England for the Great North Run. It was a magnificent race when I won there for the first time in 2016 and I want to be on top of that podium again next month,” said Cheruiyot on Friday.

In the men’s race, Mo Farah will be the athlete to beat. The Briton is also using the race to assess his preparation ahead of his run in Chicago in October.

The four-time Olympic gold medalist and six-time world champion has competed in every Great North Run since 2013, finishing second in his first outing and winning in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Last year’s fourth win equaled Benson Masya’s record, with the Kenyan winning over the 13.1-mile distance in 1991, 1992, 1994 and 1996. No runner has ever won five.

“I can’t wait to go back to Newcastle and race again...To be the best in the world you have to beat the best and it’s going to be no different here. I’m looking forward to the challenge,” Farah said. 

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