Kenyan Abel Kirui set to run next month's Fukuoka Marathon

Two-time former world champion Abel Kirui leads a strong contingent of Kenyan elite runners to next month's Fukuoka Marathon.

Kirui, 40, with a personal best of 2:05:05, faces stiff opposition to win the event set for December 4.

This will be Kirui's first marathon of the year having last participated in the 2021 Milan Marathon, where he finished 11th in 2:06:52.

Kirui said he has what it takes to win the race despite the competition. "Marathon running is never easy but I have had good preparations and I am looking forward to having a good outing,” added Kirui. 

Kirui will have fellow Kenyans Kenneth Keter and Silas Too for the company. Keter has a personal best of 2:06:05 set at the 2021 Amsterdam Marathon, where he finished eighth while Too has a PB of 2:06:32 posted in the Eindhoven Marathon last year.

James Gitahi, who finished third last year in a time of 2:08:25, will be aiming to go two places better this time around. Last year's winner Michael Githae will be aiming to defend the crown he won last year when he clocked 2:07:51.

Githae is upbeat about his prospects despite placing 11th at the Tokyo Marathon in March this year at 2:07:55. Githae also won silver at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham last August.

“I did not do well in Tokyo but I have trained hard for Fukuoka for the past three months. It's a very good field, especially the Kenyans and Ethiopians but I'm up to the task and ready to defend my title,” he said. 

Vincent Raimoi will be making his debut in the full marathon at the event having clocked 59:51 at the 2020 Ras El Khaimah Marathon in UAE, where he finished fifth. The Ethiopian athletes in the event will be led by Teshager Yegzaw and Yemane Tsegaye. 

posted Wednesday November 16th
by William Njuguna