Former world champions Linet Masai and Ezekiel Kemboi of Kenya plan to break into the marathon elite runners after retiring from the track competition
Masai, a former World 10,000m champion, will reignites her rivalry with former Olympic champion Meseret Defar at the Amsterdam marathon in Netherlands in Oct. 21. Masai has not been active for the last two years since her baby was born. "I am ready for the marathon," she said. "My management has been able to get me a race in Amsterdam and I want to see how my body will react to it. I have hopes of doing well, but am also not certain how it will go. It is my first marathon race." In Amsterdam, Masai will face twice Olympic 5,000m champion Meseret Defar, with whom they have dueled a lot on the track and at the 2007 World Cross Country Championships in Mombasa. Both Masai and Defar will be making their marathon debut in Amsterdam on Oct. 21. The Ethiopian has run several half-marathons with a best of 66:09 for second in the Great North Run in 2013. Compatriot Tadelech Bekele, who won last year in 2:21:54 and went 14 seconds quicker for third and a personal best time at the London Marathon in 2018. Masai, the 2009 world 10,000m champion who has run 68:11 for the half is also keen to break the 42km jinx. Other athletes to watch out for include Meseret Belete, who set a world junior record of 67:51 in Copenhagen this year and was eighth at the World Championships. Former world junior cross country bronze medalist Jackline Chepngeno will also be eyeing victorious debut in marathon. Ethiopia's Guteni Shone, who has a PB of 2:23:32, could also challenge.
posted Saturday September 29th