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Kenya champion Dominic Ondoro returns
to Houston eyeing to reclaim marathon title

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Two years since he braved hot and humid conditions to win in Houston, Dominic Ondoro will lead Kenyan charges to the marathon course on Jan. 20.

Ondoro had a torrid start to the 2018 season losing his title last year to Ethiopian challenge.

He developed complication midway the race and had to be carried out in an ambulance.

He also failed to finish in his second race of the season in Los Angeles.

However, he recovered from his condition and was seventh at the Ottawa Marathon in 2:15:16 and in October he was second at the Melbourne Marathon (2:16:55).

However, he faces stiff challenge in his bid to reclaim the Houston Marathon crown with Ethiopians Abayneh Ayele (2:06:45) and Yitayal Atnafu (2:07:00) leading the elite list.

"My aim this time round, of course, is to win the race," said Ondoro on Thursday in Eldoret.

"I think the weather affected me last year, but despite all that I am ready to challenge for the honors irrespective of who else is running."

The Kenyan believes he catapulted on the global scene when he won in Houston and will always feel indebted to the city.

"Winning Houston Marathon was one of my most favorite moments in road running," said Ondoro.

"I am optimistic about running a personal best time.

"I also see a potential of breaking the course record."

Other Kenyans in the race include Albert Korir (2:08:17), Justus Kimutai (2:09:29), Elisha Barno (2:09:45) and Henry Lelei, who will be making his debut in marathon.

"Once again, our elite team continues to draw a competitive international field," said Chevron Houston Marathon Race Director Brant Kotch.

The women race will see Kenya parade two experienced runners Sarah Kiptoo (2:26:32) and Gladys Kipsoi (2:27:32).

They will team up against Ethiopian onslaught led by defending champion Biruktayit Degefa (2:23:51) and American long-distance star Kara Goucher (2:24:52).

In the half marathon distance, Kenya’s Fancy Chemutai (64:52), the second fastest woman in history, leads top fields in Houston as she pushes for another top finish and boosts her chance of making the Kenya team to the World Championships.

Other Kenyans in the race are Edith Chelimo, Berlin Marathon champion Gladys Cherono, Mary Wacera and Chicago Marathon winner Brigid Kosgei.


Kenya marathon star Geoffrey Kamworor turns
focus on winning fourth World Cross Country gold

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- New York Marathon third-placed Geoffrey Kamworor said Wednesday that he is keen to win a fourth World Cross Country title in Aarhus, Denmark, in March.

Kamworor said he intends to equal legendary Paul Tergat’s five titles in cross country before shifting full focus to marathon and road races.

"I feel I have unfinished business in cross country.

"My target is to win a fourth title in Denmark.

"But that will have to wait because I must get my body in shape and the Kenya Police cross country championships will help me do that," said Kamworor.

"I have had enough rest since the New York Marathon in November.

"I have returned to training and my goal is to get in good shape, and to give a good account of myself in Denmark," adds Kamworor.

Besides the cross country, Kamworor has also won three World Half marathon titles.

"After the world cross country, the next stop will be decided by my management.

"It is always about the next competition for me," he explains.

As Kamworor returns in cross country, he will have to weather the storm to make the Kenya team, then face stronger challenge from Uganda’s double 5,000 meters and 10,000m Commonwealth Games champion Joshua Cheptegei.

"Cheptegei has been my main challenger, but someone else could crop up and challenge for the title. But it’s about my preparations that will count," he said.



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