Kenyans Mutai, Maiyo hunt for honours in Cape Town

Wednesday September 13 2017

Ethiopia’s Asefa Mengstu Negewo (third, right) returns to Sanlam Cape Town Marathon this Sunday to defend men’s 42km title he won last year. PHOTO | SANLAM CAPE TOWN MARATHON |

Ethiopia’s Asefa Mengstu Negewo (third, right) returns to Sanlam Cape Town Marathon this Sunday to defend men’s 42km title he won last year. PHOTO | SANLAM CAPE TOWN MARATHON |  

By JAMES ONYANGO MWAMBA
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The annual Sanlam Cape Town Marathon will be held on Sunday.

Top Kenyan marathoners have confirmed participation in the race, among them Laban Mutai, who boasts a personal best of 2hours, 08.01 min from 2012 Koln Marathon.

Others are Samuel Maswai with a Personal Best of 2.08.41 he recorded in 2013 Berlin Marathon, and Duncan Maiyo, with a personal best of 2.09.25.

Kenya’s Agnes Kiprop and Doris Chepkwemoi will compete in the women’s race. Sanlam Cape Town Marathon is Africa’s only IAAF Gold label marathon. 

According to the race organisers, last year’s winner of men’s 42km race, Ethiopia’s Asefa Mengstu Negewo, will return to defend his title. Last year, Negewo broke the course record, running the fastest marathon on South African soil.

Negewo, 32, timed 2:08:42, shaving off more than a minute from the previous fastest time run on South African soil in 1990 by David Tsebe (2:09:50) in Port Elizabeth.

In winning last year’s race, the Ethiopian also improved his previous personal best time of 2:11:16. Kenya’s Emanuel Tirop timed 2:08:47 to finish behind Negewo.
Tirop will not be in action in Sunday’s race, but Negewo will contend with some strong challenge from Mutai, Maswai and Maiyo.

Women’s 42km race will also see last year’s winner Tish Jones return to defend the title she won last year. The Briton, who timed 2:36:13 to win last year’s race, will come up against Kenya’s Agnes Kiprop who has the fastest Gold label time in the women’s field for the event.

Irvette Van Zyl is the fastest South African in the field with a personal best of 2:31.39.

The route for this year’s race has been modified to make it even faster with the elimination of several turns, thereby giving both local and international athletes the chance to chase record times and personal bests.

Pacers, introduced in last year’s edition of the race, will again play an integral role in enabling runners achieve record-breaking times.