Rhonex Kipruto will lead Kenyan cast for New York Half Marathon
Rhonex Kipruto will be hoping for a bright start to the season when he lines up for the New York Half Marathon in United States of America on Sunday.
He is among elite athletes who will be battling it out for top honours in the prestigious race which has attracted a good number of entries.
The race will begin in Brooklyn at Prospect Park before taking runners across the East River via the Manhattan Bridge then head to Lower East Side, up to Midtown, through Times Square and conclude at Central Park.
Kipruto, who has been training in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County will be competing against his compatriots who include Edward Cheserek who has been training in Kaptagat and Stephen Sambu who is also in the US.
The trio will face stiff competition from Ethiopians Tariku Bekele, Birhanu Dare and Ashenafi Birhana, Galen Rupp and Shadrack Kipchirchir from USA among other top athletes.
In an interview with Nation Sport, Kipruto said he has trained well and since this is his first race this season, he wants to gauge his performance as he sets his eyes on the World Championships slated for July 16-24 in Eugene, USA.
“The race will be competitive but I will be out to gauge my performance as we start another season where I’m looking forward to a better one compared to last year. I have trained well but I can’t say that my training is 100 percent,” said Kipruto.
He revealed that last year he participated in various races but this year he wants to concentrate on preparing for the World Championships thus he will reduce the number of races he will feature in.
“Last year I participated in many races and I came to realise they were not of help and that’s why I want to run few races as I prepare to make the team that will be participating in World Championships in July,” he added.
Kipruto was a late inclusion in the Tokyo Olympics team for the 10,000m race after withdrawal of Geoffrey Kamworor which led to his dismal performance where he finished ninth in 27:52.78.
In the women's category, Irene Cheptai will be joined by two-time world marathon champion Edna Kiplagat, Sharon Lokedi and Grace Kahura.
Cheptai, who is also starting her season revealed that she has been training well in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet and she just wants to run a good race as she also sets her sights on World Championships.
“I’m going into the race to just see how I will perform and with such a good field of athletes, I will be eyeing a good race. This is part of my preparations for global events like World Championships and Commonwealth Games,” said Cheptai who finished sixth at Tokyo Olympic Games in the 10,000m after timing 30:44.00.
The Kenyan athletes will be competing against Ethiopia’s Senbere Teferi, USA’s Sara Hall, Charlotte Purdue among others.
posted Saturday March 19th
by Bernard Rotich