Sarova Taita Hills Easter banner



 Coastweek website



Kenyan Dickson Kiplagat target victory
and very fast time at Tokyo Marathon

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Defending champion Dickson Chumba said Wednesday that he is not under pressure to retain his title but is keen to improve his time at the Tokyo Marathon on March 3.

Chumba, together with a fit again former world half marathon record holder Florence Kiplagat who will be making her debut in Japan, will lead a strong Kenyan delegation in the race, which is part of the World Marathon Majors (WMM) with a prize pack of Kenya shillings 8 million shillings (80,000 U.S. dollars) to the winner.

"It is a great chance for me to return to Tokyo and defend my title.

"I have been training hard and will be ready for the challenge in March," said Chumba from Eldoret.

Chumba, however, faces the harshest test against third fastest marathon athlete Kenenisa Bekele and Birhanu Legese of Ethiopia.

The Kenyan delegation that will be running alongside Chumba include Former London marathon bronze medalist Bedan Karoki, Marius Kipserem, who is fresh from winning the Abu Dhabi marathon in the United Arab Emirates.

There is also Gideon Kipketer, who was fourth in Tokyo last year, Nobert Kigen, fifth from the Valencia Marathon.

"It was my first time in Abu Dhabi and I was very happy with the route of the marathon.

"I also set a fast personal best time.

"But the best challenge will be in Tokyo, where I know will act as a good course to prove to the selectors that I am worthy to be named in the Kenya team to the World Championships," said Kipserem.

He clocked 2:04:04 in Abu Dhabi in December to take more than two minutes off his best time, which he had set while winning the 2016 Rotterdam Marathon, moving him to 12th on the world all-time list.

In the women’s field, Kenya’s Florence Kiplagat, who returned to action in October after a one year absence with injury, will be keen to win on her debut in Japan.

"The injury is over. I showed in Chicago, I was fit and was unlucky to finish fourth.

"Now I target to win in Tokyo and it will be nice if I can improve on my best time," said Kiplagat.

However, the 33-year-old will have to do with a strong headwind coming from competitor Mimi Belete and Berlin Marathon silver medalist Ruti Aga.

There is also Bahrain’s Rose Chelimo, Kenya’s Ruth Chebitok and Joan Chelimo in the line-up.

Two years ago, former world record holder Wilson Kipsang recorded the Japanese all comers record of 2:03:58 in Tokyo.

This year, the 13th edition of the Tokyo Marathon, is expected to be even more exciting.



Remember: you read it first at !

BestWestern Swiss Cottage Hotel London | Coastweek


Please contact

MOMBASA - GULSHAN JIVRAJ, Mobile: 0722 775164 Tel: (+254) (41) 2230130 /
Wireless: 020 3549187 e-mail:

NAIROBI - ANJUM H. ASODIA, Mobile: 0733 775446 Tel: (+254) (020) 3744459

    © Coastweek Newspapers Limited               Tel: (+254) (41) 2230130  |  Wireless: 020 3549187  |  E-mail: