Kenya's Cheyech targets victory, fast time in Shanghai Marathon

NAIROBI, Oct. 9 (Xinhua) -- Former Commonwealth Games marathon champion Flomena Cheyech has confirmed she will be competing at the Shanghai Marathon on November 18.

Cheyech has had torrid season this year and barely held on to finish the Nagoya Marathon in March, finishing 19th in a slow time of 2:33:01.

However, the 36-year-old has since shaken off the fatigue and injury that slowed her down and is focused on winning in China.

"I have been out of competition for long because of the injury I got in Japan. But it has since healed and I am back in competition," said Cheyech after finishing second in 71:05 in the Eldoret Half marathon.

Now she is focused on winning in Shanghai next month.

"I normally run a few road races to prepare my body and gauge how good it is for the marathon distance. Shanghai is the next stop for me in November, and hopefully I will be able to run well and win the gold medal," she added.

Ethiopian athletes have provided the stiffest challenge to Kenya's dominance, and Cheyech believes she is over the worst of her injury concerns and is ready to rise up again.

She will be up against last year's champion Lydia Cheromei and Margaret Agai. Ethiopia are expected to field last year's runner-up Hirut Tibebu Damte and Gulume Tollesa Chala.

In the men's race, former marathon world record holder Dennis Kimetto will be making his third comeback in two seasons, after shaking off a knee injury he picked up in Vienna in April.

Kimetto, who clocked a time of 2:02:57 in 2014 in Berlin, has since seen his world record time shattered by compatriot and Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge, who ran 2:01:39 on the same course in September.

Kimetto will be up against defending Shanghai champion Stephen Mokoka of South Africa, with the Kenyan pair of Ernest Ngeno and Asbel Kipsang the other athletes to watch.

22-year-old Ngeno - a former winner in Hengshui, Dongying and Milan, with a personal best time of 2:07:49 clocked in Gyeongju last October - is the 2017 Shanghai runner-up with a time of 2:08:38.

[ Editor: WPY ]


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