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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
Cheyech leads strong Kenya team to inaugural
Commonwealth Half Marathon in Wales 

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Champion Filomena Cheyech leads the Kenyan team for this weekend’s Commonwealth Half Marathon Championships which will be staged in conjunction with the Cardiff Half Marathon on Sunday in Wales.

At least international runners from 18 countries and regions will battle it out on the streets of the Welsh capital at the inaugural Commonwealth Half marathon and Kenya has named a strong team aiming to set the bar higher and dominate the 21km competition.

The Kenyan men’s team includes John Lotiang who won last year in Cardiff clocking 60:43 minutes, which stands out as the course record. There is also Joseph Nzioki (60:23) and Daniel Muteti (60:54).

The inaugural Commonwealth Half Marathon Championships will bring a stellar lineup of the world’s best endurance athletes to Cardiff.

“I want to win this race again,” said Cheyech on Thursday in Nairobi. “I won in Glasgow during the 2014 Commonwealth games and will be happy to add the half marathon title to my name.”

Kenyan athletes have dominated the male and female races over the last decade, with 14 of the last 16 winners coming from the East African nation.

Lotiang will be joined by teammates Joseph Nzioki (60:23) and Daniel Muteti (60:54) as the Kenyans eye up a second successive 1-2-3.

Cheyech will lead a strong female contingent and arrives with serious pedigree four years after winning marathon gold at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Uganda will remain Kenya’s biggest challenger in the half marathon distance, like was the case in Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April.

Leading the Uganda delegation will be former mountain running world champion Fred Musobu.

He will be out to improve on his half marathon best of 61:38 alongside the 2017 Ugandan 10,000m champion Timothy Toroitich, Felix Chemonges and Vitalis Kwemoi.

Tanzania’s Failuna Abdi Matanga is the third fastest woman in the race and will attempt to seal her spot on the podium after finishing fifth at the Barcelona half marathon.

The Tanzanian men will be led by Gabriel Gerald Geay, who ran an impressive 61:13 over the distance in the United Arab Emirates last year.

The event is open to countries that were former colonies of Britain.

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