Two-times former world marathon champion Abel Kirui is planning an assault on the course record at the Amsterdam marathon due October 19 in Netherlands.
Kirui is set to come head-to-head with the two times defending champion and course record holder Wilson Chebet, who has earned the tag “Mr Amsterdam.”
“I am planning to attack the course record. Let Chebet the Mr Amsterdam knows that iko kazi kubwa sana (there is a battle at hand for him),” warned the 32-year-old Kirui. “I am pray to God that we finish well and in good times.”
Chebet won the 2012 Amsterdam Marathon race in 2:05:41, breaking Getu Feleke’s previous course record of 2:05:44 by three seconds.
Last year, Chebet bettered his record with a new time of 2:05:36.
It will be Kirui’s second race after finishing 10th in 2:09:04 at Tokyo Marathon in February on return from a leg injury that saw him miss to defend his World title in Moscow last year.
Dickson Chumba from Kenya won the Tokyo race in course record time of 2:05:42.
“I lacked several things on return from injury and my leg was still painful during the Tokyo Marathon,” Kirui said. “The doctor told me to take another break but I am feeling great now after completing a 25km race now.”
EYE ON LONDON MARATHON
Kirui, who is training in Iten, said even though the long break has been stressful, he had to stay cool and observe his doctor’s advice.
“It was disappointing to see my world title go but that was according to God wishes, said Kirui.
Kirui will continue with his preparations after Amsterdam ahead of next year’s London marathon in April and later try to reclaim his world marathon title in Beijing in August.
“I am yet to win any major titles besides the worlds hence my intention to enter the London Marathon. I need to do something major again since am heading towards my sunset period,” said Kirui.
Kirui won back-to-back World Championships Marathon in 2009 and 2011.
He won in 2009 with a time of 2:06:54, then defended his title with a winning margin of two minutes and 28 seconds – the largest ever margin at the World Championship event.
He won a silver medal in the 2012 Olympic marathon.
However, Chebet , who is not taking Kirui’s challenge lying down, is headed to Amsterdam with big ambitions.
“I’ve set myself a goal. During my fifth race in Amsterdam I want to show that this is a 2:04 marathon course,” said Chebet, who has personal best 2:05:27 from 2011.
“I have taken small risks in my training to achieve this and I want the wonderful audience and outstanding organisers to see it.”