Gulf News

Kenya’s Kip­tum con­fi­dent of car­ry­ing form to Abu Dhabi

BAHRAIN’S CHUMBA POS­I­TIVE OF GOOD SHOW­ING IN STRONG FIELD

- BY N.D. PRASHANT Staff Re­porter

Fresh af­ter be­com­ing the new world half-marathon record holder with his win at Va­len­cia, Kenya’s Abra­ham Kip­tum is con­fi­dent that he can go on to clinch the in­au­gu­ral Ad­noc Abu Dhabi Marathon to be held in the cap­i­tal to­mor­row.

Speak­ing to Gulf News ahead of the race, Kip­tum said he is in the best of shape and is ready to give ev­ery­thing to claim the top honours.

“I’m de­lighted to come here for this race and very much ready,” he said. “Me be­ing the half-marathon world record holder and be­ing in the shape I’m in, I feel I will be able to fin­ish here with my per­sonal best. Kip­tum’s half marathon record stands at 58:18 — smash­ing the time of Kip­tum Eritrea’s Zerse­nay Tadese in 2010 — and he has also won the Daegu Marathon this year, clock­ing 2:06.29.

“The weather is ideal for me,” he added. “There are some strong ath­letes here, but

Me be­ing the half-marathon world record holder and be­ing in the shape I’m in, I feel I will be able to fin­ish here with my per­sonal best.” Abra­ham Kip­tum » Kenya half-marathon record holder

I will be try­ing my level best.”

Rot­ter­dam marathon win­ner Ken­neth Kip­ke­moi was also up­beat about do­ing well here de­spite this be­ing his first visit to the cap­i­tal.

“I trained well,” he said. “I haven’t seen the course and haven’t seen Abu Dhabi ex­cept be­ing in the air­port when on tran­sit.

It’s very nice. It suits me. Hop­ing to run 2:04 or 2:05, and if I can achieve that, it will be a good per­for­mance for me.”

Kip­ke­moi also clocked 2:05.44 at the IAAF Gold La­bel road race.

Kenya’s Stan­ley Bi­wott, who won the New York City Marathon, will be an­other ath­lete to watch out for. Hav­ing fin­ished sec­ond twice in Dubai, he is hun­grier than ever to clinch the ti­tle. “It’s a strong field and it will be good for ev­ery­one to achieve fast times on this flat course,” said 32-year-old Bi­wott.

“I have taken part in two half-marathons in Dubai in 2014 and 2015 and fin­ished sec­ond both times and I want to go one step fur­ther.”

Women’s race

Eu­nice Chumba Che­bichii of Bahrain will join the fray of the Elite Women, and will be up against Ethiopia star Gelete Burka.

Though it is go­ing to be a stiff chal­lenge for Chumba, she was pretty con­fi­dent of a good show.

“I’m well pre­pared for this marathon,” said Chumba, who won sil­ver in the 10,000m at the Asian Games in Jakarta in Au­gust. “It’s the first marathon in Abu Dhabi and look­ing for­ward to it. My last race was in Bei­jing in Septem­ber where I fin­ished sec­ond and I have been train­ing since then for Abu Dhabi.

“I can run any dis­tance from 5,000m to the marathon and that’s how I have been pre­par­ing for all the races. The marathon in the 2020 Olympics re­mains my main goal. I want to grad­u­ally work on that by im­prov­ing my per­sonal best time which is 2:24.”

Chumba also felt that the course is flat and hence fans can ex­pect some fast times. “Yes, it’s pos­si­ble, if not a per­sonal best time around 2:20 or 2:21. That’s what I would be aim­ing at in this race, and hope­fully, I can achieve it,” she added.

 ?? Cour­tesy: Organiser ?? ■ Kenya’s Abra­ham Kip­tum and Bahrain’s Eu­nice Chumba Che­bichii lead a strong field of run­ners in the men’s and women’s races at the in­au­gu­ral Ad­noc Abu Dhabi Marathon, to be held in the cap­i­tal to­mor­row
Cour­tesy: Organiser ■ Kenya’s Abra­ham Kip­tum and Bahrain’s Eu­nice Chumba Che­bichii lead a strong field of run­ners in the men’s and women’s races at the in­au­gu­ral Ad­noc Abu Dhabi Marathon, to be held in the cap­i­tal to­mor­row

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