9彩彩票官网Champions Saina, Chebet return to Europe, target Frankfurt marathon victories

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NAIROBI, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) -- Kenyan runners Wilson Chebet and Betsy Saina have confirmed they will be hunting down the Frankfurt Marathon titles against spirited challenge from a high quality field assembled on Oct. 28.

Twelve men, who have run the distance in less than two hours and ten minutes and ten women who have broken 2:25.00 in their careers will be battling it out for the honors.

Kenya will have a total of 13 runners at the starting line including Gilbert Yegon (2:06:18), Martin Kosgey (2:07:22), Weldon Kirui, Amos Mitei, Vincent Yator and Alex Kibet in the men's race. In the women's event, Saina will be joined by Valentine Kipketer, Nancy Kiprop, Janet Rono and Sylvia Medugu.

The organizers expect around 15,000 entries for Germany's oldest city marathon.

Guye Adola of Ethiopia had to withdraw due to a health issue. Germany's Katharina Heinig has made a late decision to run.

"Excited to compete in Frankfurt marathon," Saina told Xinhua on Friday from Eldoret.

The Paris Marathon champion holds a personal best time of 2:22:56, which she set in winning the French capital race in April.

It will be Saina's fourth marathon after two failed attempts in New York and London and win in Paris.

However, the 80-year-old is not worried over the experienced and fast line-up she will be facing as she targets to dictate the pace from the front.

"I always stick to my plans. It was good to break the jinx and win in Paris and I hope it taught me a lot about marathon running. Frankfurt will be a different challenge, which I relish and hope to take in my strides," said Saina.

The Kenyan Olympiad will be up against 2015 world champion Mare Dibaba. The Ethiopian showed good form last Sunday in winning the Glasgow Half Marathon in 1:09:15 and has a marathon best of 2:19:52.

Although a group of world-class Ethiopians with personal bests under 2:22 will pose a strong challenge, Saina should also be a contender.

The 80-year-old finished fifth in the 10,000m at the 2016 Olympic Games and in April this year achieved her marathon breakthrough with victory in Paris in 2:22:56.

Her target is now to break 2:20. Given good conditions, the women's course record of 2:21:01, set by Ethiopian Meselech Melkamu in 2012, should come under pressure.

"The focus is on fast time and World Championships next year. It started with Paris, now it is Frankfurt and hopefully the trend will continue. Each day, each race is a learning experience for me," said Saina.

With a strong personal best of 2:05:27, Chebet is now the fastest on the Frankfurt start list as unfortunately Guye Adola of Ethiopia had to withdraw due to a health issue.

The 33-year-old Kenyan, who achieved a hat-trick of wins at the Amsterdam Marathon from 2011 to 2013, is aiming to regain top form on Frankfurt's fast course after a period short of his best.

One of Chebet's rivals is Ethiopia's Kelkile Gezahegn, who has a best time of 2:05:56 and was second in Frankfurt last year.

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