By AYUMBA AYODI
World marathon record-holder Wilson Kipsang and two-time London Marathon champion Mary Keitany are set for the New York City Marathon on November 2 in the USA.
Kipsang, who set the new world marathon record with victory at last year’s Berlin Marathon in a time of 2:03:23, is bracing up for a breathtaking showdown from three former NYC Marathon champions – current course record-holder Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya (2011, 2013), Gebre Gebremariam of Ethiopia (2010), and Meb Keflezighi of the USA (2009).
Kipsang, 32, the Olympic bronze medallist, has run faster than 2:05 five times, the most by a single athlete in history.
He won his second London Marathon title in 2014 in a course record of 2:04:29 after narrowly missing the record at the 2012 event by four seconds with his time of 2:04:44. He is also a two-time winner at the Frankfurt Marathon.
“My preparations for the TCS New York City Marathon have begun, and every day before training I know that without self-discipline, success is impossible,” said Kipsang, who will make his New York City Marathon debut in his first return to the city since winning the 2013 NYC 21-km race.
The men’s international field, representing 17 countries, will feature world and Olympic champion Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda, London Marathon runner-up Stanley Biwott and his Kenyan compatriot who is the former 10km world record-holder, Micah Kogo, among others.
Keitany, who won her second race last weekend at the Great North Run upon returning from maternity leave, will face two-time world champion Ednah Kiplagat and three other former NYC Marathon champions – Kenya’s Priscah Jeptoo (2013), Firehiwot Dado of Ethiopia (2011) and Jelena Prokopcuka of Latvia (2005, 2006).
Others in the women’s field include world silver medallist Valeria Straneo of Italy, 2012 European 10,000m champion Ana Dulce Felix of Portugal and 2013 European indoor 3000m champion Sara Moreira, also of Portugal.
The field and personal bests
Wilson Kipsang (KEN) 2:03:23
Geoffrey Mutai (KEN) 2:04:15 / 2:03:02
Gebre Gebremariam (Eth) 2:04:53
Stanley Biwott (KEN) 2:04:55
Peter Cheruiyot Kirui (KEN) 2:06:31
Michael Kipyego (KEN) 2:06:48
Micah Kogo (KEN) 2:06:56
Stephen Kiprotich (UGA) 2:07:20
Abderrahime Bouramdane (MAR) 2:07:33
Yuki Kawauchi (JPN) 2:08:14
Luspaho April (RSA) 2:08:32
Urige Buta (NOR) 2:09:27
Masato Imai (JPN) 2:09:30
Alistair Cragg (IRL) 2:23:05
Mary Keitany (KEN) 2:18:37
Edna Kiplagat (KEN) 2:19:50
Buzunesh Deba (ETH) 2:19:59
Priscah Jeptoo (KEN) 2:20:14
Jelena Prokopcuka (LAT) 2:22:56
Firehiwot Dado (ETH) 2:23:15
Valeria Straneo (ITA) 2:23:44
Ana Dulce Félix (POR) 2:25:40
Rkia El Moukim (MAR) debut
Sara Moreira (POR) debut
Courtesy of nation.co.ke