Kimetto confident of defending record in Chicago

By Xihnua Reporter
Dennis Kimetto is certain his course record in Chicago will not be improved this year.


Kimetto who missed the world record in Chicago last year, is making yet another attempt in Berlin on September 30. However, when asked him the inclusion of Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele to the elite list of Chicago will put his course time of 2:03:45 in danger, Kimetto was categorical, it will withstand the test of time.
"Bekele is a strong athlete and won his debut marathon last year in Paris with a fast time of 2:05. But running in Chicago is different, as he will find out. It will not be easy to better my time and I am sure it will remain intact," said Kimetto, Thursday in Eldoret.
With his eyes on the course in Berlin, Kimetto said, however, that it is just a matter of time before top runners in the 42km distance deep under the two hours and three minutes mark.
"My partner Geoffrey Mutai almost did it in Boston three years ago and I believe we will get there soon. But the focus for me on my return to Berlin will be to run a good race and try to break the world record of Wilson Kipsang (2:03:23). But we will be looking at other elites in the field too," he said.
In Chicago, organizers have confirmed that Ethiopia's three-time Olympic champion Kenenisa Bekele will race the Chicago Marathon on October 12.
The 32-year-old, who holds the 5000m and 10,000m world records, said that his goal is to break the course record of 2:03:45, which was set by Kenya's Dennis Kimetto in 2013, making him the third fastest marathoner of all-time. The Chicago Marathon will be Bekele's second marathon and his first time racing on the road in the USA.
"After my win in Paris, I understand the marathon distance a lot better and I will bring that experience to Chicago," said Bekele.
"I know Chicago has a very fast course and, therefore, my goal is to break the course record of 2:03:45. After that, everything is possible".
Bekele won his debut marathon in 2:05:04.
Also running in Chicago will be defending champions Rita Jeptoo who is fresh off of World Marathon Majors (WMM) victories in Boston.
"Rita Jeptoo and Tatyana McFadden are among two of the fastest and most exciting athletes competing in the world today," said Chicago Marathon Race Director Carey Pinkowski. "They know how to close a race with the kind of finishing speed that really makes them stand out. To have them come back to defend their titles sets the stage for another year of sensational racing in Chicago".
Kenya's Jeptoo ran her first career sub-2:20 marathon in Chicago last year with a time of 2:19:57, the fastest women's marathon time of 2013. Continuing strong, she opened her 2014 marathon campaign in Boston with a forceful 2:18:57, smashing the previous course record by almost two minutes and setting a new personal best.
Jeptoo will arrive in Chicago with the potential to rewrite the record books by becoming the third woman in history to run three sub-2:20 marathons. The running world has not witnessed this feat in more than a decade since former Chicago champions and world record holders Catherine Ndereba (Kenya) and Paula Radcliffe (Britain) traded course and world records in London and Chicago.
Jeptoo ran the Chicago marathon in 2012 but lost at the tape to Ethiopia' s Atsede Baysa by a step, running 2:22:04 to Baysa' s 2:22:03. Jeptoo redeemed herself by winning the 2013 Boston Marathon and returned to Chicago with a renewed strength and determination.
Jeptoo currently stands atop the WMM leaderboard and a win in Chicago will seal the US Dollar 500,000 prize in her vault.

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