Defending Guangzhou Marathon champion Dickson Kipsang Tuwei wiil not defend his title this year

Defending Guangzhou Marathon champion Dickson Kipsang Tuwei has ruled out defending his title at this year's event in the southern Chinese city on December 9. The 26-year-old says he has not recovered in time after competing at the Shanghai Marathon where he finished third, clocking 2:09:21. "I am still resting and recovering from the grueling Shanghai Marathon. I love running in China and my plan was to win in Shanghai, but unfortunately, I was not strong enough to compete for the victory and had to settle for the bronze medal," he said on Saturday. However, Tuwei believes Kenya will have a strong representation in Guangzhou, with Edwin Kipngetich Koech hoping to win on his second attempt at the distance, while veteran Georgina Rono will be lining up in the women's race. 26-year-old Koech, who set an Italian all-comers' record with a time of 2:07:13 in the Milan Marathon, took third place in Guangzhou last year, clocking 2:10:27. "I have always dreamed of representing Kenya at the World Championships," said Koech. "I know I have a long way to go because Kenya always has strong runners. Winning in Guangzhou may be one step closer for me to attain my goal. But I have to be the best for me to stand any chance of gaining entry to the Kenya team." Koech says he will target the course record of 2:10:01 set three years ago by Morocco's Abdellah Tagharrafet, which Tuwei came within two seconds of last year.

posted Friday December 7th