All eyes on Kirui, Ayana in India

Sunday November 19 2017

Kenya's Geoffrey Kipkorir Kirui wins the men's marathon at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in central London on August 6, 2017. PHOTO | GLYN KIRK |

Kenya's Geoffrey Kipkorir Kirui wins the men's marathon at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in central London on August 6, 2017. PHOTO | GLYN KIRK |  AFP

By AYUMBA AYODI
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All eyes are on World champions Geoffrey Kirui (marathon) and Almaz Ayana (10,000 metres) as they battle in Airtel Delhi Half Marathon in India Sunday.

Kirui, who won men’s marathon at the World Championships in London in August, told the media in Delhi that he is in better shape than when he competed in the race in 2015.

Kirui finished sixth in the race in 59:38 minutes in 2015 in a race won by Birhanu Legese from Ethiopia in 59:20. Last year, Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge won the race in 59:44, just three months after winning the Olympic marathon title in Rio.

“If I compare myself to my last appearance here (in 2015), I’m in much better shape and my body has got stronger than before,” said Kirui, who will be competing for the first time since his world exploits in London.

“Running in Delhi is not going to be easy for me because some of my friends and fellow runners here have been running half marathons all the time.

“This is my second time here and I’m ready, but it entirely depends on how I am feeling Sunday. Today I’m feeling good but Sunday maybe a different day,” Kirui told organisers of the race.