Agai, Kerio seek to defend Kosice Marathon titles on Sunday

Margaret Agai and Reuben Kiprop Kerio will be seeking to defend their titles at the Kosice Peace Marathon on Sunday in Slovakia.

Agai won the title in a new course record of 2:24.04, smashing the previous mark of f 2:24:35 held by Ethiopian Ayuntu Tadesse.

Agai, who has a personal best time of 2:23:28 set while winning the 2013 Daegu Marathon, starts as favourite in the race. 

The 2022 Kigali Peace Marathon champion is familiar with the course and will be up against the Ethiopian trio of Adawork Aberta (2:23:39), Ayantu Kumela (2:24:29) and Maeregu Hayelon(2:24:42)among others.

In the men's race, Kerio who will be chasing his fourth title, will be up against three-time Toronto Marathon champion Philemon Rono (2:05:00), Kebede Tulu (2:05:19), and Aychew Bantie (2:06:23).

Kerio, who won the title in 2:07:16 ahead of Ethiopians Bantie Dessie Aychew (2:07:19) and Mehasha Tadesse Yohans (2:07:19), will have a big task shaking off experienced Rono who has dominated many marathons across the world.

Coming into the race with a personal best of 2:07:00 set at the 2019 Eindhoven Marathon when he finished second, Kerio has won the race three times thus 2017, 2021, and 2022.

Kerio has also won in other marathons including victories at Rock and Roll in 2019 and Brescia in 2016. He finished second at the Eindhoven and 2020 Xiamen Marathon. He was fourth and fifth at the 2018 Kosice and Izmir marathons respectively.

Rono, popularly called the Baby Police due to his height and body size, will be the man to watch after winning the Toronto Marathon titles in 2016, 2017, and 2019.

Elsewhere, Kenyans will be chasing the Trento Half Marathon titles in Italy. Alex Korio with a personal best of 58:51 will be the best Kenyan on the course behind Ethiopian Muktar Idris with a PB of 58:40.

The duo will be up against the Kenyan pair of Dickson Nyakundi (60:39) and Bernard Wambua who has 60:51.

In the women's race, Ethiopian Worknesh Degefa Debele with 66:14 leads Kenyans Joyciline Cherotich, and Christine Mutua with Ethiopian Etenesh Diro making his debut in the race.

posted Friday September 29th
by Emmanuel Sabuni