Kenyan quartet face Doha heat in battle for marathon gold - Beaking Kenya News

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Saturday, 5 October 2019

Kenyan quartet face Doha heat in battle for marathon gold

The reigning World marathon champion Geoffrey Kirui shares a light moment with kids at the Global training camp at Keringet, Kuresoi South in Nakuru County on September 28, 2019. He is preparing to defend his title in the World Championships in Doha, Qatar on October 6. PHOTO | FRANCIS MUREITHI | NATION MEDIA GROUP
It will be a battle between man and the elements when defending champion Geoffrey Kirui, former Seoul Marathon champion Amos Kipruto, former Paris Marathon champion Paul Lonyangata, and 2014 Toronto Marathon champion Laban Korir tackle the looped course designed around Doha’s famous Corniche — a waterfront palm-fringed boulevard and twin carriageway that has a horseshoe shape.
The marathon will be run from 11.59 Saturday night, and organisers have predicted that temperatures shall have dipped to 30 degrees Celcius from 40 degrees celcius experienced Friday evening.
But the 26-year-old Kirui, who timed two hours, eight minutes and 77 seconds to win gold in 2017 World Championships in London, is not one to be cowed by hot weather, not when a second gold medal in the world’s premier athletics competition is at stake.
“I am happy to be in the team, and it’s a privilege to get another opportunity to fight to be on top of the world again,” Kirui, who also said he is mentally prepared for the race, told Nation Sport Friday in Doha.
Lonyangata made a passionate appeal to his teammates to work together to deliver victory.
“Since I arrived here, I have taken note of the high temperatures. We can make things a little easier for ourselves here by working as a team. I know it will also be a final in itself, but unity is strength,” he said.
Lonyangata has predicted a battle of wits but he insists the most important thing is to be mentally prepared for the race. “The race will also be won in the mind. I will employ all tactics at our disposal to win the highly competitive race,” he said.
Lonyangata said they have learnt lessons from the experiences of Kenya’s female marathoners who competed here on the championships’ opening night.
“They (female marathoners) told us to bear in mind that everyone will be running in the same conditions and the most important thing is to know that we have come here to win, so we must stay focused on the target,” Lonyangata said.
Kipruto has predicted a tough race. “Things are tough but we will be tougher in the race. I have trained well and I know things will turn out just fine if I put everything to practice. The coaches have done well with us in training and our female marathoners did well by winning gold, and we will be out to emulate them,” Kipruto said.
Other than hot conditions, Kirui, Kipruto, Lonyangata and Korir will come up against 2013 World marathon champion Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda.
Kiprotich, who is also the Olympics marathon champion, timed 2:09:51 in Moscow for the world title.
Five-time world half marathon champion Zersenay Tadese from Eritrea, who turned 37 this year, will also be in the mix as will be Ethiopia’s Mosinet Geremew, Shura Kitata, Lelila Desisa and Mule Wasihun.

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